Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Philadelphia police to release 911 tapes of Walter Wallace's shooting

A protest near the location where Walter Wallace, Jr. was killed by two police officers on October 27, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A protest on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Philadelphia officials will release 911 tapes and body camera footage involving the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced at a briefing Wednesday.

The big picture: Wallace's death Monday sparked massive protests in the city and the Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday to quell unrest. A curfew that was imposed in Philadelphia from 9 p.m. Wednesday was due to expire at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Background: Wallace's family say he was experiencing a mental health crisis so they called 911 for an ambulance Monday, but police arrived instead.

  • Police say he wielded a knife before they shot him. Video of the incident shows Wallace walking toward the officers before shots were fired.

What they're saying: Outlaw noted at the briefing that the department did not have a behavioral health unit, which she said was "sorely needed."

  • "There's clearly a disconnect on our end in terms of knowing what's out there," she added.
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