[Warning: Video is disturbing.]
Police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have released body cam footage and 911 audio in the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., 27. As previously seen from a bystander’s point of view, officers fatally shot Wallace in an October 26 confrontation.
Through an attorney, his family has said that the father-of-7 was suffering a mental health crisis. They have criticized law enforcement for not equipping their officers with tasers. Chief Police Inspector Frank Vanore has said officers got a call regarding a man screaming and claiming to be armed with a knife. Wallace did have a knife.
Shaka Johnson, an attorney for Wallace’s family, has said that cops should have other tools available besides guns: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
“All you wanted to do was incapacitate him long enough to get him under control,” he told reporters on Thursday. But he said the family is not pushing for murder charges against the officers who shot Wallace. He construed the shooting death as an institutional failure.
The officers “were improperly trained and did not have the proper equipment by which to effectuate their job,” he said. “They didn’t have it.”
A statement released on Wednesday by the office of Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said that Wallace’s family approved the release of the footage, but the video was shortened “in accordance with their wishes.” In a press conference, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the police internal affairs office were investigating Wallace’s death. The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Sean Matarazzo, 25, and Thomas Munz, 26.
This large demonstration has a party bus and a jazz band. They’re marching from City Hall to Independence Hall, led by Black Philly Radical Collective. Some chanting “say his name, Walter Wallace,” others going with “fuck Donald Trump” pic.twitter.com/Uet3BgtJaq
— Anna Orso (@anna_orso) November 4, 2020
Protesters took the streets in Philadelphia on Wednesday and chanted Wallace’s name.
[Screengrab via Philadelphia Police Department]
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