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Fresh unrest rock Philadelphia after police shooting

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Philadelphia | Wednesday, 2020 8:15:06 PM IST
Scores of protesters in Philadelphia have marched through the city for a second night, demanding racial justice after police fatally shot a black man.

The family of Walter Wallace, 27, say he was suffering a mental health crisis when officers opened fire on him, the BBC reported.

Police say they shot him because he wouldn't drop a knife he was holding.

Police reinforcements as well as the National Guard have been deployed. Officials say 30 officers were hurt during the first night of clashes.

The city's police have also accused protesters of looting and ransacking businesses during the unrest.

Wallace had bipolar disorder, and his wife told officers this before they shot him, a lawyer representing his family said.

On Tuesday night, the marches began peacefully but became more confrontational as the evening drew on.

Officers in riot gear arrived in squad cars, on bicycles and on buses, and used their bikes to shove protesters back from barricade lines.

Police also warned residents to stay away from the riverfront Port Richmond district as widespread looting occurred.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management advised residents across a swathe of the city to stay indoors because of "widespread demonstrations that have turned violent".

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, protesters tried to erect makeshift barricades using bins. Police used pepper spray and batons after saying they were attacked by demonstrators.

Shops around the city had closed early and constructed barricades on Tuesday.

Residents found pharmacies shuttered and were unable to get medicine, according to CBS News, the BBC's partner in the US.

Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, has said the video of Monday's fatal police shooting "presents difficult questions that must be answered".

The mayor did not elaborate, but said he was looking forward "to a speedy and transparent resolution for the sake of Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia".

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said she had visited the scene and felt the "anger of the community".

"We anticipate the chance of additional incidents of civil unrest," she said at a news conference earlier on Tuesday. "And as such, we will be taking additional steps to ensure order. We will increase our officer presence around the city at key locations."

--IANS int/

( 382 Words)

2020-10-28-14:08:04 (IANS)

 
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