PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The attorney for the family of Walter Wallace Jr. says the 27-year-old was executed by two Philadelphia police officers while he was suffering a mental health crisis. The Wallace family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
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The family is not calling for charges on the discharging officers, but they are calling for the city to invest in less lethal weapons for Philadelphia police officers.
The Wallace family says they believe a wrongful death occurred and a wrongful death suit will follow.
“I would like to see justice done for what they did to my son. I wouldn’t wish this on no one,” Kathy Brant, Walter’s mother, said.
It’s not charges that the Wallace family wants but change.
“It just hurts me so bad to see how the people was in the world. I pray things change. I pray we can all come together and get along,” Brant said.
“Everybody needs to be accountable for what they did,” Walter Wallace Sr. said.
The family was given the opportunity to review the police body camera footage earlier today.
In a statement Thursday night, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner said the body camera footage is expected to be released to the public “by the end of next week.”
“The Mayor, Police Commissioner, and District Attorney are in close communication about the specifics of when and how police Body-Worn Camera (BWC) footage and 911 audio files in relation to the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr., will be released. The Administration and the District Attorney expect BWC footage and 911 audio files to be released by the end of next week after certain matters are resolved in close consultation with Mr. Wallace’s family and their legal counsel,” the statement read.
The family’s attorney, Shaka Johnson, says in the body camera footage, you can clearly see a man in a mental health crisis.READ MORE: Camden County Health Officials Enlisting Bilingual Volunteers To Help Dispel COVID Vaccine Fears In Latino Community
He goes on to say you can hear people screaming that Walter Wallace Jr. was “mental” seconds before he was fatally shot by police.
“The officer who remained on scene approximately three seconds before firing the first shot says, ‘shoot him,'” Johnson said.
But the family did not mention that Wallace was having a mental health crisis when they called 911 several times, requesting police and an ambulance.
“They were pretty much saying we need, there was a portion of it that asked for a medic because Kathy was experiencing some issues. They said that Mr. Wallace Sr. seemed faint so medics were requested at one point. Also, the police were in fact requested,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes that Wallace was executed and that 14 shots were not necessary and one bullet would have neutralized the threat.
“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 a cloud or a stupor or 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 with officers saying, ‘Drop the knife, drop the knife, get on the ground.’ It’s just a lot of commotion and chaos,” Johnson said.
We are working with @PhillyPolice and @PhilaDAO to release the body-worn camera footage and the 911 call. We’ve reviewed the footage with Mr. Wallace’s family, and we hope to release it publicly soon.
— Jim #PhillyVotes Kenney (@PhillyMayor) October 29, 2020
Mayor Jim Kenney said in a tweet that he hopes to release the body camera footage to the public soon.
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