PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A neighborhood is in pain. On Tuesday, community members demanded answers and action at an emergency community meeting with Philadelphia leaders.
The Cobbs Creek community says they’re tired of gathering for situations like this.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says police officers are not at war with the community but that they are of the community.
“There are glitches in the system, and whites are treated different than Blacks and that’s the bottom line. There’s rules for them and then there’s rules for us,” said Walter Wallace Jr’s, cousin Roosevelt Brant III.
Wallace was shot and killed by two Philadelphia police officers Monday afternoon on 6100 block of Locust Street in West Philadelphia after walking towards the officers with a knife and not complying with their instructions to drop it.
“My cousin has had a mental health history and his mother called because she wanted help for that mental health — actually his brother called. Instead of the ambulance coming, the police came,” Brant said.
At least 100 residents gathered in the Church of Christian Compassion Tuesday evening.
Among those in the crowd was Wallace’s mother, who left after Sen. Anthony Williams showed a video of a police officer showing restraint against a white man walking towards her with a knife threatening to kill the officer.
“This is not a place that I would claim ignorance, this is a place where I would claim not thinking the impact it would have upon somebody who is already traumatized, literally 24 hours before,” Sen. Williams said.
Mayor Jim Kenney and Commissioner Outlaw were also in Cobbs Creek for the community meeting.
“I live my life as a white man enjoying all the privileges that brings. So I cannot truly fathom the reality so many fellow Philadelphians of color have endured for generations,” Kenney said.
As the civil unrest continues in Philadelphia, the city’s top cop says they’re dedicated to serving the city.
“We not only remain dedicated to holding ourselves accountable but we are committed and dedicated to being a learning organization,” Outlaw said.
On Tuesday, Commissioner Outlaw promised transparency and hopes to release more information about the officers and possibly body camera footage in 48 hours.
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