Oct 29, 2021 - News

Philadelphia reaches $2.5M settlement with Walter Wallace Jr.'s family

Demonstrators holding placards reading "BLACK LIVES MATTER" and "WALTER WALLACE JR." during a protest . Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The family of Walter Wallace, Jr. has reached a $2.5 million settlement with the city two days after Philadelphia agreed to equip all patrol officers with Tasers.

What's happening: The payout, first reported Thursday by The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the largest the city has ever paid in a case involving an armed person.

  • The figure was confirmed by a city official, who requested anonymity.

What they're saying: Shaka Johnson, a lawyer for the Wallace family, told Axios that "this was a substantial monetary settlement that reflected the tragedy that took place, the city's role and policy failures which contributed to it."

  • Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement to Axios that he hopes the settlement "brings some measure of closure for the family."

Flashback: Almost exactly one year ago, Wallace was in a mental health crisis when he was fatally shot by two Philadelphia police officers.

  • Officers Sean Matarazzo and Thomas Munz had responded to the home after Wallace's family called 911.
  • Wallace approached police while holding a knife before he was killed in the shooting, which was captured on video.

Flash forward: Councilmember Jamie Gauthier proposed a non-binding resolution Thursday to memorialize and honor Wallace.

  • "Tragically, [Walter Wallace Jr.'s] subsequent death made it crystal clear that George Floyd's death isn't just about George Floyd," she said. "It's about Black people here in Philadelphia, who many times feel endangered instead of protected by the police."

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Philadelphia.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Philadelphia stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more