Philadelphia Police have released a graphic video showing the shooting of a black man, Walter Wallace Jr., who is accused of threatening officers with a knife. The city has been rocked by protests over the killing.
Bodycam footage from both of the officers involved in the incident was made available by city officials on Wednesday. The disturbing videos show Wallace holding a blade in his right hand. A woman can be heard shouting “He is mental!” as the cops order the man to “put the knife down.”
Then, a woman is seen running out and trying to stop Wallace as he moves towards one of the officers. Both cops have their guns drawn as they tell the 27-year-old to put down his knife.
Bystanders can be heard shouting as Wallace weaves between cars, pursuing one of the cops. Moments later, several shots ring out and he collapses onto the ground.
A woman then screams, “You killed my son!” and throws an object at one of the officers.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the incident is still under investigation, but that the footage was released “in the spirit of transparency to show we’re not hiding anything.”
The city’s mayor, Jim Kennedy, said the videos were traumatic to watch. The release of the bodycam footage marks the first time Philadelphia has allowed public access to footage documenting a fatal police shooting, local media reported.
Wallace had a long criminal record that included violent offenses. His family says he suffered from mental health problems.
The shooting, which occurred on October 26, led to mayhem in the streets of Philadelphia, prompting Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to mobilize the National Guard in a bid to restore order and stop further vandalism and looting.
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