National Guard units were deployed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the city experienced a second night of violent protests in response to the Monday shooting of Black man Walter Wallace by the Philadelphia police.
Wallace was shot Monday night after police responded to an emergency call from Wallace’s family, who told that Wallace was having a mental health episode. When police arrived, Wallace allegedly came towards officers holding a knife. In a video taken by an eyewitness, Wallace’s mother can be seen attempting to hold Wallace back. Although the actual shooting was not captured by the video, gunshots could be heard. Wallace was pronounced dead at a local medical facility. Demonstrators took to the streets after Wallace’s shooting in protest.
Anticipating another outbreak of violence, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf called upon the state’s National Guard to assist police in patrolling the demonstrations. Lieutenant Colonel Keith Hickox said in a Tuesday statement that the National Guard would be present to “enhance local law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security.”
In a Tuesday tweet, the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management advised residents in some districts of the city to “remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.”
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. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.
— Philadelphia OEM (@PhilaOEM) October 28, 2020
On Tuesday, protesters swarmed the streets and threw projectiles at members of law enforcement. Looters were also observed taking electronic equipment from a local WalMart.
Wallace’s shooting is expected to be investigated by the Philadelphia Police Departments Officer-Involved Shooting investigation division and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. In a Tuesday briefing, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Daniell Outlaw said the officers’ decision to fire on Wallace may have depended on the “totality of the circumstance.”
“I don’t want to Monday morning quarterback because it ultimately all rests upon what the officers experienced at the time and when they made the decision to shoot,” Outlaw said.
In Monday night’s protests, 30 Philadelphia police officers were injured including a 56-year-old female officer whose leg was broken after she was struck by a car. Windows were broken at local businesses. More than 30 people involved in the protests were arrested.
President Donald Trump used the protests as a talking point during a Tuesday campaign event to emphasize his administration’s emphasis on law and order and criticize Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Last night Philadelphia was torn up by Biden-supporting radicals,” Trump told a rally crowd in Wisconsin on Tuesday. “Biden stands with the rioters and I stand with the heroes of law enforcement.”
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris said that “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death.”
Newsweek reached out to Governor Wolf’s office for comment.