PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Roads in Center City have reopened after a night of closures designed to deter people from vandalism and looting. The closures were put into place after the mayor and district attorney announced they would be releasing the 911 tapes and body camera footage of the deadly police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.
The roads reopened around 3:30 a.m. Friday, however, police remain on scene to make sure everything remains calm. The closures came after the Wallace family was able to view the body cam video of what happened Monday afternoon.
That’s when police responded to a distress call on the 6100 block of Locust Street in West Philadelphia. They encountered Walter Wallace Jr. who had a knife. When the family called 911, they did not mention Wallace Jr. was having a mental health crisis, but the family’s attorney Shaka Johnson says police should have been trained better to recognize the signs. They’re also pushing for police to be equipped with more than guns when responding to certain calls.
“They heard people shouting, ‘He’s mental! He’s mental!’ And, you know, when you’re a police officer, you have to respond to these things with all of your faculties employed, sight, hearing, et cetera,” Johnson said. “When someone is telling that you a person is experiencing a crisis, you can’t just immediately go to decide on, and that’s exactly what we observed.”
Mayor Jim Kenney and the district attorney say that the tapes, as well as 911 calls, will be released to the public by the end of next week. Also, the police union is calling on the city to release those tapes, as well.
It is important to note that the family says that they would not support murder charges for the officers involved.
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