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Philadelphia: Catholic Nun Calls for Police Reform Following Shooting of Black Man


A Catholic nun and co-founder of an NGO that provides housing, opportunities for employment, medical care and education to homeless and low-income persons in the U.S. city of Philadelphia is calling for full transparency and reforms to stop police violence.

Religious Sister of Mercy Mary Scullion’s appeal comes following the killing of a 27-year-old mentally ill Black man.

Philadelphia police officers shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. who was erratically waving a knife on Monday in front of his family and neighbors.

His mother pleaded for police not to shoot him and tried her best to de-escalate the situation.

Family told media that Wallace suffered from bipolar disorder and was in crisis at the time of the shooting.

Walter had a history of mental illness and his death confirms the fears of many of us as we navigate similar situations of mental health crisis and police involvement within our communities, said Sister Scullion, who is also president and executive director of the NGO called “Project HOME”.

“We are horrified by the senseless killing of Mr. Wallace and by the repeated violence and abusive behavior of police in our communities. and by the repeated violence and senseless killings by police in our communities,” she said in letter to the Project HOME community.

“This is, yet again, a time of anger and mourning resonating throughout the Project HOME community and Philadelphia,” she said.

The nun called for system-wide reforms, de-escalation training, and reckoning with violence by police as well as compassionate approaches and safety for all local people.

“We stand in solidarity with the movements for racial justice. Every person is precious and worthy, every person has dignity, gifts, and value, every person has the right to flourish. We stand with, honor, and hold in our thoughts Walter Wallace’s parents and everyone who loved him,” said Sister Scullion.

Project HOME aims to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all to attain their fullest potential as individuals and as members of society. It strives to create a safe and respectful environment to support each other in struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization.

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