The family of Walter Wallace Jr has spoken out to the public. “I was telling the police to stop. Don’t shoot my son, please don’t shoot my son”, says his mother Cathy Wallace. She can be heard saying during a press conference. She continues by saying they paid her no mind and shot him anyway.
“it was wrong, it was deadly wrong” she said.
27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr was shot over 10 times while holding a knife when officers responded to a call about a man with a weapon. The shooting took place on Monday, October 26 just before 5 pm at Locust and South 61st streets.
During the press conference, the family revealed that they called 911 for the ambulance to get assistance but the police showed up instead. According to the family, Walter suffered from bipolar disorder and was in crisis at the time of the shooting.
Pastor Roosevelt Brant III, a relative of Walter said:
It was a call to get him help because he had mental illness and the police showed up. So she intened to get him help for his mental health, and it ended up with his life being taken by police”.
The family of #WalterWallaceJr., a Black man who was shot and killed by Philadelphia police, say he was having a mental health crisis when police fired at him around a dozen times. pic.twitter.com/v9JS7XihKi
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 31, 2020
“Justice got to be done to help my son, and help my family, Walter Wallace Sr said”.
Bodycam footage of the moments leading up to the deadly shooting will be released the day after the national election.
“Philadelphians are experiencing an immense amount of pain, and significant unrest persists throughout the entire city,” the statement said. “The collective hope of our local government and the Wallace family is that releasing the recordings on November 4 will provide enough time to calm tensions and for the recordings to be released in the most constructive manner possible.”
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby, in a statement, said the union’s review of the footage and audio showed officers retreated for “nearly 50 seconds” and ordered Wallace to drop his knife “more than 20 times” before shooting.
“The officers were justified in their use of force under very difficult and stressful conditions, an armed man confronting them with a knife,” said McNesby, who noted the officers “followed police department training and protocols.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said that the identities of the officers involved in the shooting will also be released on Wednesday.
The shooting has caused days of protest, with demonstrators marching in the streets and some instances of property destruction and attacks on police officers. Curfews have been put in place to control the public.