Philadelphia police to release 911 tapes, bodycam footage in shooting of Black man

Philadelphia police to release 911 tapes, bodycam footage in shooting of Black man
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Philadelphia police announced on Wednesday that the department would release 911 tapes and body camera footage involving the fatal police shooting of a Black man Monday, which sparked dayslong protests in the city that have occasionally turned violent. 

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Wednesday that the evidence will be released to the public after it is first shared with the family of Walter Wallace Jr., according to The Associated Press 

An attorney representing Wallace’s family said late Tuesday that the family had requested an ambulance in a 911 call because Wallace was reportedly having a mental health crisis before the fatal encounter with police.


Outlaw said that the city’s police department is in need of a behavioral health unit or a method to connect police calls with mental health professionals. 

“There’s clearly a disconnect on our end in terms of knowing what’s out there” at the scene, Outlaw told reporters, according to the AP. 

Officials said that police shot Wallace Monday afternoon after asking the 27-year-old to drop a knife. According to Philadelphia police spokesperson Tanya Little, Wallace then “advanced towards” the two police officers, prompting them to fire at Wallace “several times.” 

While it is unclear in video footage of the incident if Wallace was carrying a knife, several witnesses said he was holding one as he moved toward the officers. 

Wallace, who was hit in the shoulder and the chest, was then taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. 

Since Monday, more than 90 people have been arrested and about 50 police officers injured in clashes with protesters, the AP reported. 


Some demonstrators looted and vandalized locations around the city, with the AP reporting that approximately 1,000 people swarmed a shopping center Tuesday night, breaking windows and stealing products. 

During overnight demonstrations Monday, police vehicles and dumpsters were set on fire as officers attempted to disperse crowds. 

Preliminary information from police early Tuesday indicated that officers were struck by projectiles such as bricks and rocks, with one officer hospitalized in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries after being struck by a pickup truck, according to the AP. 

Officials announced Wednesday the implementation of a citywide curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. in an attempt to quell any further violence or destruction of local businesses. 

Wallace’s father on Tuesday called for an easing of tensions between protesters and police. 

“I don’t condone no violence — tearing up the city, looting in the stores — and all this chaos,” Walter Wallace Sr. said on Tuesday. “I need everybody to have respect for my family and my son to stop this violence and chaos.”

The elder Wallace then pleaded for justice for his son and urged protesters to come together instead of harming the family.

“People have businesses and we all got to eat ... So, why would we hurt the resources that we have in our community instead of binding together?” he said. “It’s an SOS to help not to hurt and cause no chaos — violence, looting, fires — because I wasn’t brought up like that.”