Protests erupted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday night after local police shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man named Walter Wallace Jr.
Authorities responded to a call regarding a man with a knife at approximately 4 p.m. After arriving on the scene, officers ordered Wallace Jr. to drop the object in his hands "several times." In response, officers say that Wallace Jr. "advanced towards" the officers with the object in his hands. As Wallace Jr. advanced, authorities shot him multiple times and killed him.
At the time of the shooting, Wallace Jr.'s mother and brother were present. His cousin, Carnell Hurley, adds that Wallace Jr. was "20 feet away" from the officers when he was shot and killed. The 27-year-old's father, Walter Wallace Sr., also noted that his son struggled with mental health issues throughout his life.
Video of the incident has surfaced on social media. Officers can be heard shouting at Wallace Jr. and asking him to put down the knife. However, no knife was visible in his hand from the angle at which the video was taken.
“I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
In the hours after Wallace Jr.'s death, demonstrators took to the streets to express their frustrations. Early reports suggest that more than a dozen people were arrested and nearly 30 officers were injured.
Moving forward, the Philadelphia Police Department will conduct an internal investigation regarding the shooting. Mayor Kenney plans to meet with Philadelphia Police Commander Danielle Outlaw, community leaders and members of the Wallace family.
Wallace Jr. leaves behind a wife and eight children.
Photo: Getty Images