PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A deadly Philadelphia police killing that made national headlines is driving demands for change when it comes to the way authorities treat mental illness. On Wednesday night, a community is remembering Walter Wallace Jr, and what still needs to be done.
It’s been a year since Wallace’s death, and people who attended Wednesday’s vigil say they want to make sure no one forgets. They say they will continue to fight for change.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
Songs, signs and the sound of car horns.
“I really want to remember this young man,” one Philadelphia woman said.
That man is 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr.
Dozens of people came out for a vigil Wednesday to remember him. It’s been one year since he was shot and killed by police outside his West Philadelphia home.
“For me to see what happened to Walter Wallace Jr. in that tragic situation, it just pains me, not just only as an elected official but as a father,” Councilmember Derek Green said.
Body camera footage captured the moments before Wallace’s death. You can hear police tell Wallace to drop the knife. Not long after, police fired the deadly shots.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
His family says they originally called 911 because Wallace was having a mental health crisis.
“There must be a new group of people who can respond in shootings that are nonlethal, who have professional skills to help talk people down and there must be a separate phone number for family members in crisis,” Pastor Mark Kelly Tyler said.
Recently, the city settled with the Wallace family and agreed to equip all police officers with tasers, something the officers who shot Wallace didn’t have at the time.
“Being here on today, this is a continuation on what we committed to the family to do last year, which is to get real justice for Walter Wallace Jr.,” Tyler said.
Speakers also touched on topics like gun violence, racism and police reform.
Green says they will continue to fight for change in the city.
“We had 19 tragic months from a pandemic where we couldn’t be with each other. Sometimes we get numb to some of these issues and this is something we can’t get numb to,” Green said.MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
Wallace’s family was not at the vigil on Wednesday night.