Reverend Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church broke the news of a police shooting in West Philadelphia to members of the Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform while providing testimony during a hearing on police oversight in the city.
According to reports, police officers shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., as he approached officers while wielding a knife.
“It’s moments like this that remind us the importance of the work of police oversight,” said Tyler, before announcing he was heading to the scene.
As neighbors in Cobbs Creek began protesting another Black man’s death at the hands of police, Council was discussing a proposed overhaul and rebranding of Philadelphia’s Police Advisory Commission via a measure on the ballot this Election Day.
The measure asks if the Home Rule Charter should be amended to create a Citizens Police Oversight Commission, and if City Council should be authorized to determine the composition, powers and duties of the Commission.
Before Tyler’s testimony, community members explored how a new oversight commission could create more accountability for law enforcement.
One would require public input during collective bargaining between the city and the police department during contract negotiations. »