The City of Philadelphia will pay $2.5 million to the family of Walter Wallace Jr. to settle a wrongful death lawsuit after he was killed by Philadelphia police last year.
This settlement is the largest sum the City has paid in the case of an armed person killed by police, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Oct. 28 settlement came two days after local officials announced that all officers will be armed with tasers, as the officers who killed Wallace did not carry nonlethal weapons.
Wallace, a Black man, was shot about a dozen times outside of his parents’ home in West Philadelphia last year, a witness reported. According to the Inquirer, Wallace’s mother originally called 911 to help manage his behavior during a mental health crisis. When officers arrived, they demanded Wallace to drop the knife he was carrying. When Wallace did not surrender the weapon, the officers fired over a dozen shots. During the encounter, Wallace’s mother begged the officers to not kill her 27 year-old son.
Wallace’s death sparked outrage and mass protests throughout the city. The Philadelphia Party for Socialism and Liberation, accompanied by six local justice organizations, including the Penn Community for Justice, marched through West Philly and Penn’s Campus following Wallace’s death. Some members of the Penn community that joined in the protests throughout the city reported aggressive behaviors from officers.
After Wallace’s killing, city officials reported that nearly two-thirds of the Philadelphia police force were not armed with or trained to use electroshock weapons.
At the announcement of the settlement at City Hall, Wallace’s family presented their three demands to prevent more Philadelphians from being killed by police violence. The demands include the purchase of tasers for all Philadelphia police officers, required police possession of tasers, and the necessary training to safely operate them.
"If this situation can save anybody's life, if we can save any human being, then I think it is for a good cause," Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr,. told 6ABC News.