Walter Wallace had a mental illness, his family says. Why did police respond?

Walter Wallace had a mental illness, his family says. Why did police respond?
Posted on Oct 28 2020
USA Today

The fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., 27, in Philadelphia is raising questions about what the officers involved were told before arriving at Wallace's home and whether police officers should respond to mental health crises. About 2,700 of the nation's roughly 18,000 police departments have some or all of their officers go through crisis intervention training (CIT), known as the "Memphis model," which aims to help police recognize mental health problems and get people to treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Angela Kimball, national director of advocacy and public policy at NAMI, said the U.S. needs to focus on intervening further upstream. "When you look at the lack of access to mental health care, it’s clear that that is contributing to people experiencing crises — many of which are inherently avoidable if you get people the right care at the right time," Kimball said. "We shouldn’t wait until somebody is experiencing a crisis. It’s not good for the person. It’s not good for their family. It's not good for the community. And it’s not the job law enforcement signed up for."