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Bodycam Footage Out in Police Shooting of Philly Black Man

Cops who shot Walter Wallace Jr. weren't equipped with Tasers
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2020 9:29 AM CST

(Newser) – Police officers fired 14 shots, killing Walter Wallace Jr., just 41 seconds after arriving at his family's West Philadelphia home last week. Wallace's pregnant wife repeatedly shouted that Wallace—who was walking toward the officers with a knife—was "mental," according to bodycam footage released Wednesday, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Shoot him," one officer then said to the other. Thomas Munz Jr., 26, and Sean Matarazzo, 25, opened fire and Wallace collapsed in the street. Immediately, his mother ran toward his body. "You murdered him!" she screamed, per CNN. "I told you he was mental," added a woman. "He was f---ing chasing us," an officer replied. The footage was released along with 911 calls. Wallace's sister said her brother, who was on probation, was "hitting my mother and my father." "Police are going to help your parents out," the operator told her.

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As officers approached the home, a man could be heard inside telling Wallace to put down a knife. Wallace then walked outside and toward officers, still holding the weapon. Officers repeatedly ordered him to drop it. At one point, Wallace's mother stood between the 27-year-old and officers, who had their guns drawn, but Wallace moved away. District Attorney Larry Krasner says the government failed to protect Wallace—relatives say he had bipolar disorder and was suffering a mental health crisis—and charges against the officers are possible. The family isn't pushing to have the officers charged with murder, but they do believe they weren't trained properly and lacked the right equipment, including Tasers, per CNN. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw describes a departmentwide lack of resources, per ABC News. The officers are now on desk duty. (Read more Walter Wallace Jr. stories.)

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