The killing by police of a black man who wielded a knife on the street of Philadelphia triggered overnight protests in the city that lasted Tuesday.
The man, identified by a Philadelphia City Council member as Walter Wallace, was seen in a video posted Monday online walking into the street in West Philadelphia with a knife as people yelled and two police officers aimed their guns at him.
The 27-year-old eventually fell to the ground after several rounds of gun shots were heard. An onlooker said the police “ain’t have to give (Wallace) that many shots.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said on Twitter that the incident “presents difficult questions that must be answered,” adding that the Philadelphia Police Department will conduct a full investigation.
The incident set up citywide protests late night Monday into Tuesday against police brutality, with business looted and police vehicles vandalized.
Over 30 individuals were arrested, facing possible charges for rioting, assault on police and looting, police said.
Eric Gripp, spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department, said 30 officers were injured during the protests.
“We’re committed to a quick and transparent resolution for the sake of Mr. Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia,” Kenney said in another tweet. “Last night, we saw further evidence of the anguish of our Black and brown residents who have struggled their entire lives under systemic racism.”
The two police officers involved in the incident were reportedly on desk duty pending an investigation. The union that represents the officers defended them as “doing their job,” while asking the “public for its patience” as the investigation proceeds.