Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Tuesday afternoon that he is personally leading the investigation into the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr.
Krasner said members of his office arrived on the scene in West Philadelphia within an hour of the shooting Monday, and were there until 4 a.m. Krasner said he has not yet come to a decision about whether he will pursue charges against the two officers who shot Wallace.
“We are not out to cover for anybody. We are not out to get anybody,” Krasner said. “We have to get all the information, consider it carefully, find the facts, consider the law, and go wherever they lead us.”
Wallace, 27, was shot outside his family’s Cobbs Creek home during a tense encounter with police. His mother said she called 911 asking for an ambulance to assist Wallace during a mental health crisis. A video of the shooting shows him circling the street holding what appears to be a knife, as his mother followed him. Two officers on the scene each then fired at least 7 rounds at him.
There are still many details that remain unknown, including why the 911 call wasn’t handled with the new behavioral health response the Philadelphia Police Department announced earlier this month. The names of the officers involved have also not been disclosed.
After video of Wallace’s killing went viral, hundreds of people took to the streets of West Philadelphia Monday night into Tuesday morning. Many were peaceful, but some clashed with police and smashed storefronts along the 52nd Street commercial corridor. Police arrested at least 91 people.
On Tuesday, Krasner said his office had processed 27 cases of second-degree felony burglary so far, with 49 more “in the pipeline.” He said three of those arrests were for charges that involved a gun.
Krasner also said his office expects to see 11 cases where police “present information to us about an assault on law enforcement.” 30 officers were wounded in the protests Monday night, according to the police.
Kraser said his office has obtained some, but not all of the bodycam footage filmed by police officers involved in the shooting, and is trying to obtain more. He declined to comment on what the footage his office has obtained thus far shows.
“Part of our task is to make sure we don’t just have some of the information — we have all of it,” Krasner said.
Protests and community conversations related to Wallace’s killing are ongoing Tuesday evening.
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