President Trump is prepared to order federal intervention in Philadelphia after rioting erupted over a police shooting of a Black man wielding a knife, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah said Tuesday.
Hundreds of people took to the streets Monday to protest the police-involved fatal shooting of 27-year-old Walter Wallace. Violent clashes with police ensued, leaving 30 officers injured including one whose leg was broken when he was run over by a pickup truck.
“President Trump will not tolerate any violence directed at America’s law enforcement,” Ms. Farah said on Fox News. “This President has made clear before whether it was in Seattle or Portland or others were prepared to deploy federal law enforcement as necessary.”
She said the Trump administration was not drawing conclusions about what happened in the police-involved shootings but, at this point, was addressing the rioting.
“We’re going to let the facts play out [and] let the investigation play out, but we will not tolerate lawlessness in our streets,” said Ms. Farah.
City officials in Portland and Seattle blamed the presence of federal law enforcement officers for provoking more violence but Mr. Trump hailed the federal intervention as a success.
The shooting in Philadelphia occurred before 4 p.m. Monday as officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon, police spokesperson Tanya Little said.
Officers were called to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood and encountered the man, later identified as Walter Wallace, who was holding a knife, Little said. Officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but he instead “advanced towards” them. Both officers then fired “several times,” Ms. Little said.
Mr. Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest. One of the officers then put him in a police vehicle and drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Ms. Little said.
Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting late Monday into early Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turning violent at times, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.
Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as police struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters away from the main thoroughfare. The crowd largely dispersed then.
Thirty officers were injured, most of them from being struck by projectiles such as bricks and rocks, according to preliminary information from police. One officer was hospitalized in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries after she was struck by a pickup truck, police said, while the other injured officers were treated and released.
Video of the fatal confrontation recorded by a bystander and posted on social media shows officers pointing their guns at Mr. Wallace as he walks in the street and around a car. He walks toward the officers as they back away from him in the street, guns still aimed at him. They yell at him to put his knife down.
Both then fire several shots and Mr. Wallace collapses in the street. A woman runs up to him screaming. Several bystanders then approach him.
It is unclear in the video if he had a knife. Witnesses said he was holding one.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.