Philly police plan to release Walter Wallace Jr. shooting body cam footage, 911 calls

The Wallace family has viewed the video already, and said, via an attorney, that they did not wish to see the two officers face murder charges.

Protesters confront police during a march Tuesday, Oct. 27 in West Philadelphia.

Protesters confront police during a march Tuesday, Oct. 27 in West Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Officials plan to release body camera footage today from the two police officers who shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia in late October.

In a joint statement issued last week, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said they hope releasing the video will help the city heal from the incident, which sparked daily protests ahead of an already chaotic election.

“Philadelphians are experiencing an immense amount of pain, and significant unrest persists throughout the entire city,” the trio said in a joint statement, which was also signed by the Wallace family. “The collective hope of our local government and the Wallace family is that releasing the recordings on November 4 will provide enough time to calm tensions and for the recordings to be released in the most constructive manner possible.”

Also released will be tape from the 911 calls that brought police to the Wallace residence near 61st and Locust streets on Oct. 27.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Officials said both footage and tape would be released by the end of the business day Wednesday, though it remains unclear whether pending election results could alter those plans.

Wallace’s loved ones have already reviewed the recordings, the family’s attorney Shaka Johnson said last Thursday. According to Johnson, the video lasts about 30 to 40 seconds, and shows Wallace emerging from his family’s house on Oct. 26 with a knife as his relatives shout to alert police officers about his mental condition.

Cell phone footage that circulated widely on social media showed only the last few seconds of the fatal encounter.

Police have yet to publicly identify the two officers involved in the shooting — despite a department policy, in effect since 2015, that calls for the release of names of officers who shoot people within 72 hours.

Wallace became the 10th civilian shot by a police officer in Philadelphia this year, according to department statistics, and his death marked the second fatality. Police shootings have largely been on the decline in the city over the last decade.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Wallace’s family has said they do not wish to see the two officers face murder charges in their son’s death. Attorney Johnson did mention a possible wrongful death lawsuit.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal