Family of Philly man shot and killed says officers involved in fatal shooting shouldn’t be charged with murder

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PHILADELPHIA, PA- The family of the knife-wielding man who was fatally shot by Philadelphia police, which sparked several nights of violent unrest, are now calling for justice to be served, but that they do not want the officers to be charged with murder.

Shaka Johnson, the attorney representing the family of 27-year-old Walter Wallace, Jr., told reporters that the family does not want the officers to be charged with murder. He said that they watched body camera footage of the officers’ October 26th encounter with Wallace and have since released these statements:

“Here’s why, they were improperly trained and did not have the proper equipment by which to effectuate their job.”

He added:

“I saw a person in obvious mental health crisis. My auditory senses heard people shouting, ‘He’s mental, he’s mental.'”

Johnson said that the body camera footage shows Wallace in an “obvious mental crisis.” The footage, which is roughly 30-40 seconds long, shows Wallace emerging from a house with a knife as family members continued to shout about his mental health condition.

According to Johnson, the video shows “instant panic” from officers whose training taught them only how to open fire. He then noted that he saw no viable attempt from officers to de-escalate the situation. Authorities said that Wallace was armed with a knife and charged at the officers, which prompted them to discharge their duty weapons.

District Attorney Larry Krasner and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a joint statement that they are resolving certain matters with the Wallace family and hope to release the 911 audio files as well as additional body camera footage once those matters are taken care of.

Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John McNesby said that a cell phone video of the incident showed Wallace lunging at the officers with the knife just before the fatal shooting. He said:

“I mean, there’s not much to this. Wallace had a knife, he was lunging at the officers and, unfortunately they had to fire.”

McNesby has yet to view the body camera footage, which Johnson claims does not show Wallace armed with a knife and lunging at police.

However, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said that it is extremely important for Wallace’s family to see the evidence, including body camera footage before it would be released to the public. Outlaw said:

“I have every intention of being transparent and releasing the footage. I think the footage can speak for itself.”

Cell phone video captured Wallace’s interaction with officers before he was fatally shot. The video does not make it clear whether he was in fact holding a knife, however, witnesses and the family attorney confirm that he was. 

Outlaw said that neither officer had a Taser or similar advice at the time of the shooting, noting that the department had previously asked for funding to equip more officers with those devices. Johnson said that the city has failed the Wallace family, the community, and its police officers. He said:

“The city has failed, not only the Wallace family, not only the other members of that community, who will be scarred and traumatized for the remainder of their days, but the city has also failed those police officers, it failed them tremendously.”

He continued:

“The only remedy the police had, int hat moment, per their thinking, was their service weapon. There was no less lethal action available and that has been our way cry ever since Tuesday.”

The same day Johnson held the press conference, Philadelphia city council voted to ban police use of less-lethal weapons including tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets.  The bill now moves forward to mayor Kenny to sign into law.

Wallace’s killing spawned nights of unrest in the city of Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania National Guard have arrived in Philadelphia to work with local agencies to identify the greatest need.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – The tally of arrests and injured officers as of the morning of October 28th, regarding the Philadelphia riots, has reached 172 arrests and 53 police officers injured.

Of course, all of this widespread crime is linked to the police shooting of the then-armed violent offender days earlier, Walton Wallace.

With the brazen acts of violence, looting and the ilk overtaking the city in recent days, Governor Tom Wolf signed a “Proclamation of Disaster Emergency” while simultaneously referring to the ongoing chaos as something that has “drowned out” those who decided to gather “peacefully”:

“Over the last few days, hundreds of people have gathered to peacefully speak out against social injustice, but their voices are being drowned out by others who are taking advantage of this fragile time in their city to sow mayhem and discord.”

Meanwhile, the city has seen in 172 people arrested for various felonies and misdemeanors relating to the rioting as of the afternoon of October 28th.

There 52 people arrested for burglary just between the evening of the 27th moving into the morning hours of the 28th. There were also numerous arrests related to assaulting officers, disorderly conduct and robbery.

And as far as audacious crimes go, detonating ATMs would likely fall under the category of bold. Reports of at least nine ATMs were hit with explosives during the evening of the 27th transitioning into the morning of the 28th.

According to police, the locations where these ATMs were targeted ranged anywhere from ones inside of delis and gas stations to ones staged outside of various businesses.

The explosions started going off at approximately 9:30 p.m. on the 27th, with the last call transpiring at roughly 5:00 a.m. on the 28th.

While there were reports relating to the second night of riots stating that some groups of people were just marching and chanting, even CNN had to concede that a group of rioters began attacking police when nearing the precinct:

“The protest turned violent near a police precinct when the large crowd encountered a handful of officers. Several people in the crowd threw rocks, light bulbs, or bricks at the police. One officer was injured, according to a CNN crew at the scene.”

According to Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management on the evening of the 27th, local residents were advised to stay indoors in various areas to avoid the violence that was erupting in the city:

“The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.”

Now, despite all the rampant crime ongoing in Philadelphia and the fact that Wallace was shot by police while armed with a knife and aggressively approaching the officers – people online are still acting as though Wallace was a victim and that the officers are akin to murderers.

You’ve got the twice-failed presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders saying that the officers should be arrested:

“Walter Wallace should be alive today, and our thoughts are with his loved ones. The police responsible for murdering him in front of his mother instead of getting him the medical attention he needed should be arrested, investigated, and prosecuted by the Justice Department.”

You’ve also got Democrat Cori Bush, who is running for Congress in Missouri, sharing the same rhetoric as Sanders with the following posted to Twitter:

“Walter Wallace Jr. should not be dead. Walter Wallace Jr. was murdered in front of his mother. Walter Wallace Jr. deserves justice. We will not let the police continue to be judge, jury, and executioner.”

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The takes on this case are simply mind boggling.

And this is all over an armed man with an extensive history of violence being shot by responding officers. 

Here’s a detailed report on both what officers were warned of prior to responding to Wallace and his previous criminal exploits. 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – We at Law Enforcement Today have reported extensively on the police involved shooting of Walter Wallace Jr and the subsequent riots that have transpired since he was taken down by officers.

But new reports detail that aside from Wallace having posed an active, deadly threat when officers fired on him – it also turns out that Wallace has a history of being violent and threatening to kill people.

In recently uncovered documents related to the deceased 27-year-old Wallace’s criminal history, we’re now able to get a better understanding that Wallace had a pattern of violent behavior against others.

And apparently Wallace was an “aspiring rapper” that wrote songs related to such wonderful subjects as shooting people – including police officers.

Now, while music that glorifies or mentions violent acts doesn’t always translate to the artists committing violent acts, it’s certainly worthy of speculation when an artist is a violent individual that produces music that’s allegorical of their criminal and violent exploits.

Back in 2017, Wallace reportedly pleaded guilty to robbery, assault and possessing an instrument of crime.

In that case specifically, authorities say that Wallace kicked in a woman’s front door and placed a gun to her head. This may come as a shock, but Wallace was only sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison for that crime.

Keep in mind, Wallace could have been sentenced to up to five years for just the instrument of a crime charge.

And police had reportedly been called out to the home where Wallace stayed numerous times since May of this year – roughly 31 calls according to sources.

Not to mention, his own mother placed a protective order against Wallace in 2013 which he wound up violating when he “threw water in her face and punched her in the face” and “threatened to return and shoot” his own mother.

In 2019, Wallace was charged with resisting arrest when he was allegedly trying to kick out the windows and door panels of a police car. And just in March of this year, he was arrested for allegedly threatening the mother of his children over the phone saying:

“I’ll shoot you and that house up.”

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw recently commented on the case, noting that there’s questions on whether the responding officers knew who they were responding to when called to the address the day of the fatal shooting:

“There are several questions that need to be answered… including what the officers knew when they responded, what was put out by radio and how any previous contact with Mr. Wallace factored into [the October 26th shooting].”

Wallace’s cousin, Anthony Fitzhugh, is pointing to Wallace having “mental health issues” being one of the possible reasons he may have responded violently toward authorities prior to being shot:

“They were advised that he had mental health issues. I understand he had a knife, and their job is to protect and serve. By all means do so, but do not let lethal force be the means by which you de-escalate the situation. You could have still kept your gun drawn while another officer tased him.”

Except, the officers dispatched didn’t have tasers.  

Also, it seems that mental health is a common thing brought up whenever a suspect posing a lethal threat is taken down by police.

However, the internet personality known as “Donut Operator” (who is most known for examining police shootings footage) brought up a reasonable counter to the mentioning of mental health.

That being, does mental health of a violent subject make them more or less lethal in the moment:

“Nobody wants to get stabbed with a knife. Okay, people are really upset saying ‘well, he was mentally ill’. Does a mentally ill person having a knife make him less dangerous than…like…a person who is not mentally ill having a knife?”

It’s a rather reasonable speculation – the presence or lack thereof of mental illness within a violent subject does little to change the level of an existing threat of a deadly weapon.

Which you can also watch Donut Operator’s video analysis of the shooting below.

Furthermore, in regard to the mentioning by Commissioner Outlaw of what officers may have known prior to arriving at the address of the incident, it turns out officers were warned on police radio traffic of the following:

“Person screaming 6124 Locust. Report of a 27-year-old male assaulting an elderly female”

And then a second transmission came in on the radio just 40 seconds later that said:

“Tell the officers to use caution responding to this. This is an ongoing domestic issue going on up there.”

In short, we’re examining the police shooting of a known violent offender who police in the area were familiar with, responding officers were advised to use caution with the subject on police radio, and there’s also the fact that Wallace lunged at officers with a deadly weapon in his possession.

The fact that this case is drawing criticism from the community and also the copious amounts of riots inspired by it is the epitome off baffling.

Commissioner Outlaw commented on the ongoing riots and violence stemming from the case, saying that local community members have informed her that these rioters are not from the neighborhood where the incident took place:

“Speaking anecdotally – we tend not to like to speak anecdotally – but I will tell you the crowd that was out there on the scene, the residents from that neighborhood those, who witnessed the incident, those were the folks that I interacted with while there.”

“Those were not the same people that we later interacted with once I left that scene. It was a completely different group, and quite frankly, demographics that we saw there and I heard from the community some of the same frustrations expressed as well.”

The police shooting was Wallace is currently on ongoing investigation. Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insights into this developing story.

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