The attorney for the family of a black man who was shot and killed by Philadelphia police this week said Thursday that they do not believe the officers should be charged with murder for the shooting.
Speaking at a press conference, attorney Shaka Johnson said the officers who shot Walter Wallace Jr. were “improperly trained” and did not have the proper equipment “by which to effectuate their job.”
“Does the family think that those officers should be charged … with murder? My answer is to you is, and remains … I don’t think so,” Johnson said.
He added that the family has reviewed body camera footage from the scene of the shooting on Monday in West Philadelphia, which does not show Wallace Jr. lunging at police with a knife.
“You will not see a man with a knife lunging at anyone that would qualify as a reason to assassinate him in front of his family,” Johnson said.
“What you will hear from one of the officers is ‘shoot him,’” he added.
Wallace Jr.’s mother also spoke at the press conference and called for justice to be served in the killing.
“I would like to see justice done for what they did to my son,” Wallace Jr.’s mother, Cathy Brant, said.
“I pray we all one day can come together and get along. This got to stop it really got to stop it really do,” she added.
Wallace Jr.’s father, Walter Wallace, also fumed at Philadelphia’s political leaders at the press conference, calling the mayor a “coward” for not speaking with the family after the shooting.
The police shooting touched off a wave of destructive protests in the city, as well as widespread looting of stores.
The state’s National Guard has been called into Philadelphia in an effort to tamp down the unrest.
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