Protests have erupted in the city of Philadelphia following the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. The 27-year-old was shot and killed by police officers after members of his family called for an ambulance on Monday afternoon.
Wallace Jr., who has suffered from bipolar disorder, allegedly had a knife in his hands when officers arrived on the scene. Video of the incident shows officers demanding that the Philadelphia resident to put the knife down. Moments later, officers fired multiple shots that killed the young, Black father.
In the hours following his death, local citizens have taken to the streets to express their frustration with the state of policing in America. As protests have grown, clashes with law enforcement have continued to grow. Reports of protesters being beaten with batons, officers being hospitalized and stores being looted have emerged. In response, the Wallace family has asked for other to keep them in their prayers as they deal with the unfolding situation.
"[I ask] everybody to have respect for our family, to pray for us. Cut it out. The looting is a mindset and it won't bring my son back. And it won't, it will escalate things to get worse instead of better," Walter Wallace Sr. said.
"All this violence and looting. I don't want to leave a bad scar on my son and my family with this looting and chaos stuff."
Despite mass reports of violence between police and citizens, many protests have proceeded without incident. On Tuesday, hundreds marched through the Cobbs Creek section of the city as they shouted Walter Wallace Jr.'s name. Unfortunately, the demonstration took a turn for the worse when police forces intervened near Pine Street. In light of recent of events, police are now asking citizens to stay indoors when possible.
"The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary," the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management tweeted
"These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting."
Heading into Wednesday night, authorities have arrested more than 30 people, dozens have been injured and local businesses have been looted. In the midst of this week's events, there has been word as to if the officers involved in Walter Wallace Jr.'s death will be charged.
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