Mother Of Walter Wallace Jr., Says She Called 911 For Medical Assistance For Her Son, Not Police
Wallace Jr.’s pregnant wife is scheduled to have labor induced on Wednesday.
October 27, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Update (October 28, 2020): Family members and lawyers continue to speak out about the latest deadly police shooting that took place in West Philadelphia this week.
According to the Associated Press, a lawyer for Walter Wallace Jr.’s mother Cathy Wallace said she called 911 seeking medical assistance but instead, two police officers showed up, eventually shooting Wallace Jr. to death.
Video of the harrowing incident has caused widespread protests as thousands more people watch clips of the incident showing Cathy Wallace chasing her son and begging officers not to shoot him before they eventually did.
“When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun…where are the proper tools for the job,” the family’s lawyer Shaka Johnson said.
On Tuesday night, both of Wallace Jr.’s parents told the Associated Press that their son was in the middle of a mental health crisis and that they had called 911 three separate times seeking help. Officers knew their son was having mental health troubles. Cathy Wallace said during one of the police interactions the officers “stood there and laughed at us.”
Johnson told reporters that Wallace Jr.’s pregnant wife is scheduled to have labor induced on Wednesday and that his nine children were despondent at the loss of their father. Two of the children spoke during a press conference on Tuesday, Fox29 reported.
"BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER": The oldest of Walter Wallace Jr.'s three sons spoke out during a family press conference Tuesday evening.
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) October 28, 2020
Protests over the shooting grew dramatically on Tuesday evening, with hundreds of demonstrators taking to the streets to demand justice for Wallace Jr.
Social media was flooded with videos of police attacking cars, breaking windows and punching Black protesters as anger spilled over into the streets.
@PhillyMayor why is this officer beating a young woman while on top of her? He flung her onto the ground by her neck. [CN: police beating Black woman] #Philadelphia
— Raquel Evita Saraswati (@RaquelEvita) October 27, 2020
During an interview with Fox29, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw defended the officers’ lack of proper equipment, saying that despite asking legislators for funding to buy tasers, they have not received it.
President Donald Trump’s press secretary released a statement about the situation in support of the officers who shot Wallace Jr., blaming Democratic legislators for stoking a “war against police” and adding that Trump “stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.”
“In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system. We can never allow mob rule,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told the Associated Press in a statement released at 1 a.m.
She went on to laud police officers for their work.
According to ABC27, the Pennsylvania National Guard has been called to Philadelphia for the protests and a few hundred members will be sent to the city in the next 48 hours.
Wallace Jr.’s family members were despondent during press conferences on Tuesday.
"I can't even sleep at night, every time I close my eyes I got flashbacks of multiple shots," said Walter Wallace Sr, according to ABC6.
Original (October 27, 2020): Protests have erupted in Philadelphia after two officers were caught on video shooting a Black man to death as his mother and others nearby begged police to stand down, according to the Associated Press and CNN. The father of Walter Wallace Jr. said his son was shot a total of 10 times and had mental health issues.
Video of the incident was shared widely online showing 27-year-old Wallace Jr. being held by his mother before he breaks away and points what appears to be a knife at the officers, who are at least a car's length away from him.
Wallace Jr. briefly turned toward them and began advancing while pointing the object at them before the officers open fire at least a dozen times, killing him instantly.
#BlackLivesMatter: Walter Wallace Jr., 27, a twin, father, and son, was shot 10 times by police in front of his mom who was trying to deescalate the situation in Philly. These officers must be held accountable and this unjust system must be radically transformed. pic.twitter.com/o6zS0RZVRt
— COMMON (@common) October 27, 2020
His mother is seen crying out as she runs to his body and others in the video question why officers had to shoot him and why they fired so many shots.
The incident happened around 4 p.m. on Monday in West Philadelphia after officers had been called for reports of a man with a knife, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
His family and witnesses to the incident were dumfounded as to why the officers felt the need to end Wallace Jr.'s life.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser? His mother was trying to defuse the situation,” Wallace Sr., the victim's father, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He has mental issues. Why you have to gun him down?”
The newspaper also spoke with Maurice Holloway, who was at the scene with his aunt when police opened fire on Wallace Jr.
He said Wallace Jr. was standing on his porch with the object believed to be the knife when police arrived and they immediately drew their guns, even as his mother and other bystanders repeatedly asked them to take other measures besides killing him.
“I’m yelling, ‘Put down the gun, put down the gun,’ and everyone is saying, ‘Don’t shoot him, he’s gonna put it down, we know him. He turns and then you hear the shots. They were too far from him; it was so many shots," Holloway said in an interview.
We intend to go where the facts and law lead us and to do so carefully, without rushing to judgment and without bias of any kind.https://t.co/8OI2YCTJX9
— DA Larry Krasner (@DA_LarryKrasner) October 26, 2020
Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner pledged to start an investigation and both officers, who were not identified, have been put on desk duty.