Guest editorial…The murder of Officer Walker

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While all life is precious, it sometimes takes the killing of an innocent child, a prominent person or a police officer to shake the public’s consciousness.

When a police officer, whose sworn duty it is to serve and protect the community, is gunned down it sparks an outpouring of public anger and outrage.

Public anger grow deeper still when that same officer is a beloved member of the community and someone with a reputation of being devoted to his church and family.

This is why hundreds of people paid their respects for Officer Moses Walker Jr., a 19-year veteran, who was laid to rest Aug. 20 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia.

Officer Walker was shot and killed during an apparent robbery attempt as he walked to a bus stop after finishing his shift two weeks Aug. 18.

Mayor Michael Nutter was among those who attended the funeral service for Walker and

called for an end to violence and a rededication to peace.

“I am sick of the ignorance, sick of the violence, sick of death,” he said. “Let us all rededicate our lives to peace and let Moses Walker —Moses would lead the way—show us how to live our lives in peace, in truth, in love.”

Walker, 40, had changed into street clothes after an overnight shift and was walking to a bus stop about 6 a.m. on Aug 18 when two men approached him. Walker had time only to draw his gun before he was shot in the chest, stomach and arm, said police. According to police, the robbery attempt was similar to several other robberies in the area in the last few months.

Police have charged two men in the slaying. Rafael Jones, 23, believed to have been the shooter, was charged last week with murder, robbery, conspiracy and other counts. Chancier McFarland, 19, was charged with murder and other offences.

The slaying has sparked criticism of the Board of Probation and Parole, which allowed Jones to leave prison and go without an electronic bracelet for more than two weeks after being charged in connection with an earlier robbery.

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D., Phila) has called on Gov. Tom Corbett’s office to lead an investigation into why Jones was on the street.

There should be an investigation outside of the Board of Probation and Parole into where the breakdown occurred in the handling of the Jones’s case

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)

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