Statement for Walter Wallace Jr.

Walter Wallace Jr.’s life mattered. He should still be here. Another way is possible.  Imagine a world where mental health issues, disabilities, or your race do not make you a target for criminalization and state murder. Where the preservation of life is prioritized, and a first response is a service, not an execution. Our hearts are with Walter Wallace’s mother, who had to witness her son’s senseless murder, as well as with his family and loved ones. Black Lives Matter Philly remains as committed as ever to the continued fight to ensure that all Black lives, from West Philly to West Africa, are free and safe from the harm of the state and its arbiters: the police. It is our duty to resist pervasive ableism and anti-blackness. At least a third of the people murdered by the police have disabilities. Black Lives Matter Philly stands in absolute solidarity with the Black disabled community and vows to create an environment for Black folks with disabilities that is inclusive, accessible, and committed to providing adequate support. We are reminded again that the system and, specifically, the police cannot be reformed. They must be abolished. How many more lives have to be taken? How many more families devastated? Only a holistic defunding and disbanding of the police and reinvestment in our communities can restore the social infrastructure and supports that actually keep us all safe. We condemn the repressive response of the Philadelphia police to protests seeking justice for Walter Wallace Jr. We also recognize that the Fraternal Order of Police is currently mobilizing its resources to defend the cops who murdered Walter Wallace Jr. They are more concerned with their own protection than the safety and wellbeing of our people. As part of the Black Philly Radical Collective, Black Lives Matter Philly continues to assert that “through intimidation, bullying, and political intrigue [the FOP] has set itself up as an unaccountable power bloc and political lobby that is a threat to our city's democracy.” We continue to demand the abolition of the FOP and its role in enforcing police violence against Black Philadelphia.  We will continue to strengthen and organize alternatives to this police state within our community where our power truly lies. We will continue to uprise in the streets of Philadelphia until our Black lives matter.