PHILADELPHIA (Dispatches) -- Street protests broke out on Monday night in the western part of the U.S. city of Philadelphia, injuring four police, after police had shot and killed a Black man.
The police violence is the latest in months of anti-racism protests across the United States since the May death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Four officers were hit with bricks when Monday’s protest outside a police station in Philadelphia turned violent and they had to be taken to hospital, broadcaster NBC said.
Earlier, a man identified by officials as Walter Wallace, 27, had approached two police officers who drew their guns, video of the afternoon’s shooting on social media showed.
The incident raised questions and was being investigated, Mayor Jim Kenny and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in separate statements.
"The Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit of the Philadelphia police department will conduct a full investigation,” Kenney said.
Outlaw said she heard "the anger of the community” after Wallace’s death.
The video on social media, recorded by a bystander, showed the two officers point their guns at Wallace as he walked in the street.
He approached them as they backed away, with guns still aimed at him, while yelling to him to put down what they said was a knife. Both then fired several shots and Wallace collapsed in the street, according to the video.
Witness Maurice Holloway told the Inquirer Wallace’s mother followed him as he walked down his porch steps holding a knife and tried to shield him, telling police he was her son.
"I’m yelling, ‘Put down the gun, put down the gun,’ and everyone is saying, ‘Don’t shoot him, he’s gonna put it down, we know him,’” Holloway, 35, told the newspaper.
Wallace then walked behind a car and came out again, said Holloway, who said there were multiple shots.
Tension rose as the death of Wallace sparked clashes between protesters and local police.
Since the incident in Minneapolis, demonstrators have turned out nationwide to demand racial equality and an end to police brutality, with protests sometimes turning violent.
Many of the protests have accused the police of racism and brutality, but President Donald Trump has focused on the unrest to bolster his claims to be the "law-and-order” candidate in his election battle against Joe Biden.
"We’ll be standing by and prepared to deploy federal resources, if necessary,” White House director of communications Alyssa Farah told Fox News on Tuesday.
"President Trump will not tolerate any violence directed at America’s law enforcement. We’re going to let the investigation play out, but we will not tolerate lawlessness in our streets.”
Wallace’s father, also called Walter Wallace, said his son appeared to have been shot 10 times, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"”Why didn’t they use a Taser?” the paper quoted him as saying. "He has mental issues. Why you have to gun him down?” he added, saying that his son was on medication.
Activist groups reiterated a demand to defund the police, with the American Civil Liberties Union saying state violence could not be the answer to society’s problems.
"It is time to divest in police and invest in community programs, including the kind of mental health services that allow intervention that may have prevented Mr. Wallace’s killing,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the Pennsylvania ACLU.