Philadelphia, PA – City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) today issued the following statement in response to shooting death of Walter Wallace, Jr:
The shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. yesterday in West Philadelphia was a terrible tragedy for everyone involved. For Mr. Wallace, for his parents and family, for his friends and neighbors who witnessed it.
As a city, we must ask ourselves today whether what is lawful is right and just. But first, we must investigate.
Philadelphia police and law enforcement must investigate the facts of the shooting, including the use of deadly force by the officers involved, expeditiously and fairly. The results of their investigation must be shared with the public.
I understand the frustration, anger and rage that boiled over last night in West Philadelphia. Our community is left with yet another police-involved shooting, a man dead, and the same questions that have arisen across the country: Was there a better way to handle this situation? When police respond in such situations, we need mental health crisis workers there too, which is why City Council funded that reform in June. It should be implemented expeditiously. We also have the opportunity to create a Citizens Police Oversight Commission, with more authority to investigate citizens’ complaints – a question on the November 3rd ballot.
Until the investigations are complete and the results made known, we ask for peaceful protest in our city, not destruction of our neighborhoods. That only sets our city back. I remain committed with my fellow Councilmembers to achieving a safer, more just, and more equitable city for us all.
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