Philadelphia streets gave way to violence, looting, and arson overnight as people took to the streets in protest of the killing of a knife-wielding Black man who refused to obey orders to drop his weapon and, instead, threatened police officers.
Hundreds of people took to the streets, some protesting and some engaging in violence. 91 people were arrested, and 30 officers were injured including one female officer who was “intentionally run over” by a pick-up truck driver.
Authorities say police officers were called to the West side of Philadelphia for reports of a man with a weapon. When officers arrived, they found Walter Wallace Jr., 27, wielding a knife. Wallace refused to obey orders to drop the weapon and, instead, advanced on the officers in an aggressive and threatening manner. Officer shot Wallace, who was later pronounced dead.
Of the 91 people arrested, 11 arrestees were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers, 76 were charged with commercial burglary, and three were charged with disorderly conduct/failure to disperse, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
Eight Philadelphia Police Department vehicles were damaged and fire department paramedic unit had its windshield smashed.
Philadelphia’s liberal prosecutor has abandoned his police and refuses to enforce the law. Last night 30 officers were injured in riots—and as always the biggest victims are the city’s most vulnerable.
We must save America’s cities from this destruction.pic.twitter.com/wJW6nzozl7
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 27, 2020
Outlaw told reporters that the people police officers saw on the streets during the rioting, looting and arson events were not the same people at the crime scene.
“Those were not the same people that we later interacted with,” she said. She called the groups engaged during the riots a “different group of folks” from different demographics. Outlaw said similar complaints about outsiders engaging in violence were expressed from local community groups.
The Philadelphia Police Department is anticipating another night of civil unrest Tuesday.