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The Post  
Wallace Family Views Footage, Public Next Week; 'Less Lethal' Ban Bill; Eagles Ballot Drop Box
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/29/20 11:17 pm | updated: 10/29/20 11:17 pm
The family of Walter Wallace Jr. reviewed police body cam footage and 911 recordings on Thursday afternoon, 10/29/ Wallace was shot and killed by Philadelphia Police officers during a confrontation on Monday afternoon, 10/26. Family Attorney Shaka Johnson said at a press conference after they watched the footage, "I saw a person in obvious mental health crisis. My auditory senses heard people shouting, 'He's mental, he's mental'." The family is not calling for the police officers who shot Wallace to be charged with murder. "And here's why, here's why: they were improperly trained and did not have the proper equipment by which to effectuate their job," Johnson said.

"The city has failed, not only the Wallace family, not only the other members of that community, who will be scarred and traumatized for the remainder of their days, but the city has also failed those police officers, it failed them tremendously. The only remedy the police had, in that moment per their thinking, was their service weapon. There was no less lethal action available. And that has been our war cry ever since Tuesday," said Johnson. A funeral will be held on November 7 at the Church of Christian Compassion. Viewing 9 a.m. Service 11 a.m.

The city announced that the police body cam footage and 911 recordings will be made public by the end of next week. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and District Attorney Larry Krasner issued a joint statement, "The Mayor, Police Commissioner, and District Attorney are in close communication about the specifics of when and how police Body-Worn Camera (BWC) footage and 911 audio files in relation to the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr., will be released. The Administration and the District Attorney expect BWC footage and 911 audio files to be released by the end of next week after certain matters are resolved in close consultation with Mr. Wallace’s family and their legal counsel."

Philadelphia City Council passed a bill on Thursday, 10/29, banning the use of "less lethal" munitions on protestors exercising their First Amendment rights. Law enforcement will no longer be permitted to use tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray on demonstrators. City Council was motivated to act after police used such tactics during the George Floyd protests at the end of May and beginning of June, particularly incidents on the Vine Street Expressway I-676 on June 1 and in West Philadelphia on May 31. "We are answering the calls of our constituents. This is a moment where repairing trust between our residents, public officials, and police is essential. Residential neighborhoods are not warzones.
Demonstrators are not enemy combatants. This is a first step in working with our communities to build a new model for public safety that is driven by their needs and their vision for the future," bill sponsor Councilmember Helen Gym stated in a release.

FOP Vice President Roosevelt Poplar said that without "less lethal" munitions designed for crowd control, police are only left with their "lethal" one. "So, basically, you're taking away non-lethal munitions and you're leaving them with only one tool, and that's a deadly weapon tool, which is a gun," Poplar said. Ironically, the major policing topic this week has been how officers should have been equipped with a "less lethal" Taser in another incident. This bill does not cover what officers are permitted to use and when if a protest escalates into a riot and is no longer protected by the First Amendment.


SEE ALSO: Bill 200538

The Philadelphia Eagles will be turning Parking Lot K at Lincoln Financial Field into a drive-thru drop off site for your mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar recommends all residents that are using mail-in ballots to drop them off at county election officers, secure drop boxes, or polling places instead of sending them through the mail this late. If you are a Philadelphia County resident and you have not sent your mail-in ballot back yet, you can use the Eagles drive-thru drop off on Saturday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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