On Wednesday in North Philadelphia, the mother of slain police officer Moses Walker Jr. was joined by police, community leaders, clergy members and community supporters for a peace march and vigil that traced her son’s last steps. Last Saturday, Walker, a 19-year veteran cop, was shot and killed on his way home after clocking out at North Philadelphia’s 22nd Police District.
During the vigil, the officer’s mother, Wayne Walker, paused to speak to the Philadelphia Tribune. “The purpose of this rally is to come here, in united form, to let anyone know in Philadelphia that has lost a child, that there is someone here for them, and to also to let the perpetrators know that we’re out to get you. You will not get by doing this to my son,” said Ms. Walker.
Walker was joined by her fellow members of Mothers In Charge, a community support group of mothers who lost children to violence, and other supporters as they marched through the North Philly community where Moses Walker Jr. was murdered. Moses is Ms. Walker’s second son lost to street violence.
“This (peace march) is to support our sister, Ms. Wayne, whose son was killed ... so we’re all just out here to support her, to send a message to stop the violence,” said Terrez McCleary, a member of Mothers In Charge.
McCleary added, “I don’t know what can be done, but something needs to be done. There was a great outpouring when Trayvon Martin was killed; we had people coming from all over the world putting together big marches. When we have the same violence here every day, I just think they need to take the same stand to try to do something about the violence that’s going on. There used to be respect for police officers, now, I guess [criminals] really don’t care who [their victims are]. If [criminals are] not respecting cops, we don’t have a chance.”
Nicole Katina Owens can relate to the bereavement that Ms. Walker is experiencing. Her brother Jason was murdered last year in New York. “I’m the sister of a deceased victim,” she said. “I lost my brother tragically through violence; a woman stabbed him ten times and then set his apartment on fire.”
“Well, I’m here today for the rally to show support for all these moms and victims of crimes ... we’ve all lost someone. Also, Philadelphia needs a lot of people to engage and come together and support each other, because the violence in this city is just beyond belief. Maybe we can take charge of this city and bring it back to what it should be and get rid of the violence,” said Owens, a former New York resident who now lives in Blue Bell, Pa.
Captain Roland Lee Jr., 22nd Police District, was flanked by his fellow police officers in a show of solidarity and support of the peace march and vigil. Commenting on the march Lee said, “It’s a beautiful thing, even in the midst of the tragic death of Officer Moses Walker. Mothers In Charge have come out here — they’re going to rally people up, to try to get people to do the right thing. And the right thing to do is to turn these people in that committed this murder.” Lee said that the morale of his men is a little low, “Moses was here a long time, a 19-year veteran. He’s been here every day, right here at North Central. He was well liked and well respected by his peers.” Lee offered this appeal to the community, “Turn them in. You know who did it. Somebody out there knows what happened. Turn them in.”
Walker will be laid to rest on Monday, August 27 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 West Lehigh Avenue. The viewing will be held on Sunday, August 26 from 6 p.m. to10 p.m. A second viewing is scheduled for Monday, August 27, at 7 a.m. and funeral service at 10 a.m.