On Monday, the Wallace family called wanting an ambulance. Instead, two police officers responded to their request for help and killed Walter Wallace Jr. Our hearts go out to the Wallace family and to all of West Philadelphia, a strong community reeling from this event.
Walter Wallace Jr. suffered from mental illness. People with mental illness are far more likely to come to the attention of law enforcement than receive medical help. People of color with mental illness are far more likely to be incarcerated than to receive medical help. The government agencies intended to keep communities safe — police and prisons — all too often serve as systems of government oppression and violence against communities of color.
Today we grieve with the Wallace family.
Tomorrow, and every day, we work to end government abuse and neglect of communities of color.
Black lives matter.
We’re here to help.