Statues unveiled in honor of fallen 22nd District police officers

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two Philadelphia police officers killed in the line of duty are being honored with a new memorial unveiled at their home district.

A Community Day was held Saturday afternoon at the 22nd District in North Philadelphia as part of the honor.

Family members of Officer Moses Walker Jr. and Sgt. Robert Wilson III shed tears when they saw the memorial to their loved ones killed in the line of duty.

Shakira Wilson-Burroughs, Sgt. Wilson's sister, said, "I was taken aback a bit - back to the day of the funeral, because I haven't seen him in that manner since then, so."

Statues of Walker and Wilson, complete with glass cases and lighting, were installed at the 22nd District thanks to community donations.

The artist and creator, Jonathan Mangual, is a fellow officer.

Officer Mangual tells us, "It makes me happy and sad. Just sad at the same time. But I hope it honors them."

Walker was shot and killed during a robbery attempt in 2012 as he was walking to a bus stop after his shift at the 22nd District.

Wilson was killed earlier this year as he tried to stop a robbery at a North Philadelphia Game Stop store, where he was buying a gift for his son.

Along with the memorial unveiling, a cookout was held at the 22nd District and officers hope it'll become an annual event - a way to improve the relationship between police officers and the community.

Donna Clark of North Philadelphia expressed the importance of the event, saying, "Especially for the children, because it gives them guidelines. Let's them know that the police aren't always out to harass you or to hurt you. They're there to protect you."

Between the grill, the music, and the newly dedicated memorial, folks hope the bonds formed here will last longer than a day.

Shakira Wilson-Burroughs says, "There's a divide. And an event like this shows that there doesn't need to be a divide. That officers are people just like you and I."

And Officer Mangual explains, "We're not bad. We're not all bad."
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