August 1, 2021 23:21

‘Painful’ Footage Released of Fatal PA Police Shooting

Philadelphia officials released body-camera footage of two police officers who fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., along with audio of 911 calls from the Oct. 26 event that prompted protests and several nights of looting around the city, reports the Wall Street Journal. Feeds from two cameras show a brief, chaotic scene that lasted less than a minute from when officers first ordered Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, to drop a knife to when they opened fire. Before the shooting, Wallace walked erratically, ignoring repeated shouts to drop the knife. He was on the opposite side of an SUV when an officer can be heard saying, “Shoot him.” Officers began firing seconds later when he was in the street, more than a car-length away.

911 recordings include calls from family members and a neighbor. Wallace’s sister called to say her brother was attacking their parents. She said he was on probation and had a record that included violence. The Police Department posted the footage and 911 calls after Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and the director of the city’s behavioral health department laid out planned police reforms. “We understand that the material released today will be very painful. It will elicit anger, rage, distress, evoke more questions—and rightfully so,” Kenney said. Tensions in the city, already running high because of Wallace’s killing—have risen amid uncertainty over the outcome of dthe  presidential election. Outlaw worries that unrest stemming from the shooting could spill over into election-related protests. Storefronts around downtown are boarded up, some as a preventive measure during last week’s looting and some because of concerns about election-related violence.

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