Protesters took to the streets and bands of looters broke into businesses for a second night after officers in Philadelphia shot and killed a Black man who was holding a knife in an encounter that city officials say raises questions.

Several hundred troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard will be deployed to Philadelphia at the county’s request.

Walter Wallace, 27, was killed after officers responded to emergency calls Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia. The city’s mayor and police commissioner have promised a full investigation into the incident.

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators erupted soon after the shooting, with some 30 police officers reportedly injured in the first night of protests.

On Tuesday night, police urged residents in certain districts to stay inside.

The Philadelphia Police Department requested residents of under-threat districts to remain indoors except when necessary, the city’s emergency management office tweeted.

The National Guard troops will be mobilized over the next 24 to 48 hours, and will “protect the right to peacefully assemble and protest while keeping people safe,” according to a statement from the office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

Police officials have not released the names of the two officers who fired at Wallace, but said the officers have been placed on desk duty pending an investigation.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he watched bystander video, which shows parts of the altercation. In a joint statement with the city’s police commissioner, he said the incident was “tragic” and “presents difficult questions that must be answered.”

“I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw added. While visiting the scene of the shooting, Outlaw said she “heard and felt the anger of the community.”

Mayor said video of the shooting “presents difficult questions that must be answered.”

Outrage over the shooting in West Philadelphia set off protests by demonstrators wanting to know why less-lethal force wasn’t used. But police said the officers were not equipped with Tasers.

Monday night saw violence and looting, leading to dozens of arrests and the officers’ injuries, most the result of thrown objects. One officer was struck by a pickup and taken to the hospital with a broken leg and other injuries, police said.

Businesses were looted, and five police vehicles and one fire vehicle were vandalized, police said. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said 91 people were arrested during the unrest, including 11 on charges of assaulting police and 76 for burglary.

Member of staff, the author is a Political Science alumna from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She keeps an eye out for issues of social justice, censorship and our changing political discourse. She can be reached at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here