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Family of Philadelphia man fatally shot by police doesn't want officers charged with murder

The man shot by police had mental health issues and appeared on video to be approaching officers with a knife in his hand.

Updated: October 30, 2020 - 2:08pm

The family of Walter Wallace Jr., who was fatally shot by Philadelphia police, does not want the officers charged with murder, a lawyer for the family said Thursday.

Attorney Shaka Johnson said the Wallace family doesn’t want the two responding officers to face such charges because they were improperly trained and didn’t have the right equipment to deal with the situation, in which Wallace, who had mental health issues, moved toward them Monday afternoon with a knife before being shot.

Video from police body-cameras released Thursday show Wallace emerging from a house with a knife as relatives shout at officers about his mental health condition, Johnson, who saw the video before its public release, told the Associated Press.

He also said the video also shows Wallace was shot incapacitated after the first shot of 14 shot fired by the officers, who did not have taser guns.

“I understand he had a knife, but that does not give you carte blanche to execute a man, quite frankly,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference outside Philadelphia City Hall. “What other than death did you intend when you shoot a man – each officer – seven times apiece?”

He also said, “What you will not see is a man with a knife lunging at anyone that would qualify as a reason to assassinate him,” the wire service also reports.

Police said the officers fired the shots after Wallace ignored orders to drop a knife. 

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