PHILADELPHIA – Protesters looted shops and clashed with police on Tuesday night on a second night of street protests against the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old black man, during a confrontation more than 24 hours earlier.
Local television and news websites showed looters breaking into stores in the Port Richmond neighborhood, northeast of the city center, as police grapple with protesters in the heart of West Philadelphia , where Mr. Wallace was killed Monday afternoon after approaching police with a knife.
The victim’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., urged the looters to stop. “It will leave a bad scar on my son, with all this looting and chaos,” Wallace said in an interview on CNN. “This is where we live, and it’s the only community resource we have, and if we take all the resources and burn them, we have nothing.”
Danielle Outlaw, the police commissioner, told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that she would release information about the shooting in the next few days, but was unsure if that would include body camera footage of officers who have shot Mr. Wallace.
“It’s common for officers to respond to domestic disturbances or any type of call with a gun, as it’s one of the tools we wear on our toolbelt,” said Commissioner Outlaw, who added that officers were not carrying a stun gun.
The protests in Philadelphia are the latest in a series of nationwide protests demanding justice over the police murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., And Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, among others.
In addition to the signs and chants, some of the rallies from New York to Portland, Oregon, included the looting, arson and destruction of police vehicles. Police sometimes aggressively targeted protesters, throwing tear gas and hitting them with batons.
In a joint statement Tuesday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democratic presidential candidate, and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, sought to validate protesters’ anger at the to the death of Mr. Wallace while discouraging violence and attacks on the police.
“We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death,” said Mr Biden and Ms Harris. But, they added: “Looting is not a protest, it is a crime. It distracts attention from the real tragedy of a shortened life.
Thirty policemen were injured on Monday as protesters threw bricks and stones at them, a police spokesman said, adding that a policeman had a broken leg after being hit by a van. The Pennsylvania National Guard was scheduled to send hundreds of people to Philadelphia in the coming days, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Protesters rallied in response to Mr Wallace’s death. In a video posted to social media, cries of “Save!” and “Put down the knife!” can be heard walking towards two officers before collapsing in a flurry of gunfire. A woman moans as other agents arrive.
“Brother, they just killed him in front of me,” one man can be heard saying in the video. “You don’t have to hit him that many times.”
Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Monday night that he had spoken with Mr. Wallace’s family and that a full investigation into the shooting would be conducted.
“I watched the video of this tragic incident,” he said, “and it presents tough questions that need to be answered.”
Azi Paybarah contributed reporting from New York.