West Philadelphia community still reeling after death of Walter Wallace Jr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
West Philadelphia community still reeling after death of Walter Wallace Jr.
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Emotions were still running high Wednesday in the neighborhood where 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was fatally shot by police.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Emotions were still running high Wednesday in the neighborhood where 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was fatally shot by police.

Many businesses in West Philadelphia were boarded up or in the process of cleaning up.

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A small assortment of candles and balloons were nestled in a corner of 61st and Locust streets, just feet from the Wallace family home.

"I'm here for humanity," said Northeast Philadelphia resident Bunny Figueroa. "He shouldn't have died. He should not have been shot to death."

Police said Wallace, 27, was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before officers fired shots Monday afternoon. But his parents said Tuesday night that officers knew their son was in a mental health crisis because they had been to the family's house three times on Monday.

READ MORE: 'Don't shoot my son': Walter Wallace Jr.'s mom said she tried to defuse situation ahead of fatal shooting

Around West Philadelphia, signs of peaceful protest remain as clean up continues.

Walter Wallace Jr.'s name can be seen on boarded-up storefronts.

"I shop at these stores every day, and now I can't shop these stores because they're down. They're destroyed," said resident Gregory Harrison.

READ MORE: Community meeting filled with emotion after Walter Wallace Jr.'s death

"It's not an accurate representation, but an accurate representation of how the community feels is: We are angry, raged, disgraced," added Ashley Gibson.

The community is again calling for meaningful police reform.

"The conditions cause the conditions. If the cops are not raised around here, they don't know us and they have a natural fear. They are hyper-aggressive. It's no longer policing the community," said resident Terrell Hernandez.