MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Protesters gathered in downtown Memphis streets Thursday night to show support for demonstrators in Philadelphia. Organizers called this protest a “March for Philly,” seeking justice for Walter Wallace Jr., the Black man shot and killed by Philadelphia police.
Two dozen protesters marched from the convention center to FedExForum.
Familiar chants like “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” filled the cold night air.
Demonstrators are seeking an end to police brutality and better police response to cases involving the mentally ill, like the shooting of Wallace Jr.
“We’re not going to stop. We’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep protesting. We’re going to keep demanding change. We’re gonna keep speaking. We’re gonna keep giving solutions. And we’re going to vote. We’re going to vote. We’re going to vote,” Allen DeBerry, protest organizer, said.
DeBerry grew up in Memphis but lives in Nashville pursuing a film and music career. He says he came home to vote in the election and to lead Thursday night’s protest.
At the same time in Philadelphia, Wallace Jr.’s family said they do not want the officers who fatally shot him to be charged with murder. They say Wallace had a clear mental health crisis the night he was killed.
They want the city to offer better training for its police officers.
Thousands of police departments put their officers through CIT- crisis intervention team - known as the “Memphis model” because Memphis Police created a nationally-recognized program in 1988.