The City of Philadelphia has released the bodycam footage of the murder of Walter Wallace Jr. at the hands of Philadelphia Police Department Officers Sean Matarazzo and Thomas Munz.
The videos confirm what we already knew, that Wallace needed help from mental health professionals, not brutal police. His murderers never attempted to de-escalate or resolve the situation without violence.
Lilac condemns this racist act of violence. We call for abolition. We must defund the PPD and reimagine what community safety looks like. We can no longer have Black and Brown communities terrorized by unaccountable, armed racists patrolling neighborhoods they have no stake in. We must secure justice for Walter Wallace, Jr and his family.
The City has seen the footage. They have been shaken by the power of the people coming together and into the streets to call for justice. And yet, their proposal is to add money to the police budget. Instead of prosecuting Wallace’s killers, the City found at least $10 million to give to PPD, despite sweeping cuts across other essential departments. Instead of developing a response to mental health related 911 calls that centers community-based mental-health professionals, the City is asking for more police “training."
This is a common refrain from politicians in cities across the country, liberal and conservative alike. However, after decades of increasing police resources, this much is clear -- the only way to keep racist police from killing Black Philadelphians is to keep them away from Black Philadelphians. We must defund and disarm the police while investing in essential services that actually keep our communities safe: affordable housing, universal health care, community-based mental health services, good paying jobs, education, and youth programming.
We demand the immediate firing of Officers Sean Matarazzo and Thomas Munz for their murder of Walter Wallace Jr, the halt of any additional funding for the PPD, and a ban on police reponding to mental health crisis calls.
Make no mistake though, these demands don’t bring us to justice. Justice will only be achieved when we abolish the white supremacist institution of American policing. Join us in our fight HERE and sign onto Amistad Law Project’s petition.