PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Authorities in Philadelphia on Wednesday night released officer body camera footage and audio of 911 calls documenting the fatal Oct. 26 police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.
Wallace’s family has stated publicly that he had bipolar disorder and was in the midst of a mental health crisis when they requested police intervention, CNN reported.
The audio released included calls from Wallace’s sister, brother and a neighbor requesting police assistance from a dispatcher because Wallace was assaulting his parents, CBS News reported.
Meanwhile, the body camera footage released showed Wallace, 27, exiting the apartment and descending the front steps with what appears to be a knife in his hand. He then walked down the sidewalk toward one of the two officers – identified Wednesday as officers Sean Matarazzo, 25, and Thomas Munz, 26 – as both officers drew their guns and ordered Wallace to “Put the knife down!”
Wallace then turned to walk toward the second officer across the street, and a voice could be heard screaming, “He’s mental! He’s mental!”
One of the officers could then be heard saying “Shoot him” as Wallace turned and walked toward the officers, and then both officers fired multiple rounds, striking him. A total of 14 rounds were fired, and Wallace never moved again.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told CBS News that both an internal investigation by her department to determine whether any policies were violated and a criminal investigation by the district attorney’s office are ongoing.
No charges have been filed against either officer to date, CNN reported.
According to The Associated Press, Wallace’s family – through their attorneys – have not called publicly for the officers to be charged in the shooting because they feel the officers were both improperly trained and lacked adequate equipment. Neither officer had been issued a non-lethal stun gun.
“These officers followed their training and police department policy. It’s completely inappropriate that these officers continue to be vilified for doing their job,” the Philadelphia police union said in a prepared statement.