New mural honors slain Philly policeman along Strawberry Mansion beat

A new mural at 29th and Ridge Avenue honors Sergeant Robert Wilson III who lost his life in the line of duty. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

A new mural at 29th and Ridge Avenue honors Sergeant Robert Wilson III who lost his life in the line of duty. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Project and city politicians unveiled a new mural to honor slain police Sgt. Robert Wilson III Thursday in Strawberry Mansion where he patrolled.

A closeup portrait of Wilson in uniform now gazes down on the intersection of 29th Street and Ridge Avenue.

His older sister, Shak’ira Wilson Burroughs, said she appreciates the city’s effort to memorialize her brother.

“It still just gives us the sense that the community where he worked, you know, still is behind him, still supportive, and still remember him,” she said. “It makes us feel real good.”

City officials and members of Robert Wilson III’s family cut the ribbon at a mural dedication honoring the officer who was killed in 2015. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Wilson, who was on duty, was gunned down while trying to buy a video game for his son’s birthday in 2015.

Burroughs and several other family members made news recently when they called for capital punishment for Wilson’s killers.

The killers, Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams, took a plea deal from District Attorney Larry Krasner and were sentenced to life in prison with no parole — plus 50 to 100 years — in exchange for pleading guilty.

City Council President Darrell Clarke approached Jane Golden, the executive director of Mural Arts, about the project months ago. Immediately on board with the memorial plan, Golden said she began working with the community soon after.

“We honor a true hero that was a part of this community for many years and met an unfortunate circumstance,” Clarke said. “He was a person that represented the relationship that we had with the police department and the city of Philadelphia.

State Rep. Donna Bullock also spoke at the unveiling since Strawberry Mansion is a portion of her district.

“Art can play so many roles, and, in this particular instance, it is serving as an image to our community of what a hero looks like and the kind of relationship we want to have with our law enforcement,” she said.

Golden said she wants to do more artwork in the Strawberry Mansion area in the future.

“Murals are important because they are the autobiography of our city,” she said.

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