Walter Wallace's family doesn't want Philadelphia cops involved to face murder charges after seeing bodycam videos
The family of Walter Wallace Jr who had been fatally shot by two police in Philadelphia says they don't want the officers to be involved to be charged with murder. 27-year-old Wallace had been suffering from a mental breakdown when he was shot dead while holding a knife on Monday, October 26, while holding a knife during a confrontation with the police. His family revealed that he suffered from a bipolar disorder and had been in a crisis at the time of the shooting.
The family of Wallace viewed the body camera footage of the incident. The family of Wallace believes that the city failed them but are not calling for the officers involved to be charged with murder. The Wallace family lawyer Shaka Johnson spoke during a press conference on Thursday, October 29, and said that it was clear that the officers were "improperly trained and did not have the proper equipment by which to effectuate their job."
Johnson said that the footage shows one of the officers saying, "shoot him" before they shot Wallace at least 14 times after he did not respond to their orders to drop the knife. He also shared that the footage showed that Wallace was in the middle of an "obvious mental health crisis".
He added, "It was instant panic from those officers." Johnson also said that he did not think that the officers should face murder charges and he hoped that the investigation into the death of Wallace would lead to policing reform to prevent shootings of a similar nature in the future.
The comments of the family came after they watched body camera footage of the moments that lead up to the death of Wallace. The footage is believed to be around 30-40 seconds long and shows Wallace coming out of a house holding onto a knife.
In the background, family members can be heard shouting about his mental condition. Johnson shared, "When Mr. Wallace comes out of the house, at least on this video we don't hear him say anything. It seems to be a person in sort of a cloud or a stupor or just not appreciating the gravity of that particular moment, which would align perfectly with what the family was shouting, 'he's mental, he's mental'."
"He was behaving like a person who didn't appreciate the gravity of the circumstances," Johnson said. The 911 calls, footage, and a history of police responses to the home will be made public towards the end of next week, Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a joint statement, as per CNN.
The statement said that there were some things that had to be resolved "in close consultation with Mr. Wallace's family and their legal counsel" before the release.
According to Fox29, the two officers can also be heard giving 20-25 verbal warnings to Wallace to stop and drop his knife, before opening fire. Neither of the officers was carrying a taser. The Wallace family has said that they believe a wrongful death had occurred and a wrongful death suit will follow.
Wallace's mother, Kathy Wallace said, "I would like to see justice done for what they did to my son. I wouldn’t wish this on no one."