The father of the man who was shot and killed by police officers in Philadelphia is calling for rioting and looting in the city to end.
On Monday afternoon, two members of the Philadelphia Police Department fatally shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace as he was non-compliant, holding a knife, and approaching the officers. By Monday evening, crowds gathered across the city to protest the incident.
The crowds, gathering in Wallace’s name, then broke out into rioting where at least 30 police officers were injured. The riots also saw people looting local supermarkets and businesses.
“Stop the violence,” Walter Wallace Sr. said on Tuesday. “I don’t condone no violence, tearing up the city, looting of the stores, and all this chaos. It’s an SOS to help, not to hurt.”
Tuesday’s rallies began peacefully but grew confrontational as darkness fell, just as on the previous day.
Police turned out in force to cordon off a West Philadelphia commercial district that was looted the previous night.
But looters broke into businesses elsewhere, including in the city’s Port Richmond section, aerial news video from WPVI television showed. At times, police in riot gear shoved protesters back from barricade lines.
Tension has gripped the streets of Philadelphia since Monday’s deadly police shooting of Walter Wallace, 27, who was armed with a knife and described by relatives as suffering from a mental breakdown, in a confrontation with law enforcement.
Hundreds of marchers demanded racial justice with some jeering and skirmishing with police through the night and into early Wednesday, as Philadelphia became the latest flash point in the United States on issues of race and police use of force just days ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election.