NBC10- Monique Braxton
Mayor Michael Nutter is joining police and the family of Officer Moses Walker Jr. to unveil a hero plaque in honor of the slain officer. NBC10's Monique Braxton reports.
A 19-year-veteran of the Philadelphia Police cut down while heading home from work will forever be memorialized in bronze.
Police, Mayor Michael Nutter and other dignitaries joined the family of Officer Moses Walker, Jr. to unveil a Police Hero Plaque today outside of where he served -- the 22nd District at 1747 N 17th Street in North Philadelphia.
Walker, a 40-year-old, was walking home from the overnight shift on Aug, 18, 2012 when two men attacked him at 20th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia.
Prior to the ceremony, Walker's commanding Officer Roland Lee told NBC10's Monique Braxton that Walker was a "dependable" officer.
"You could always trust him, whatever you needed done he could get it done for you," Lee said. "He was a very good person, a very good man."
That good man had told fellow officers he wanted to walk home from work on that August morning since it was nice out.
As Walker, who wasn't in uniform, walked towards a bus stop, he was suddenly approached by two armed men who shot him several times, striking him in the chest and abdomen. When police arrived, they found Walker face down on the ground. He was taken to Hahnemann Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Chancier McFarland, now 20, and Rafael Jones, now 24, were later arrested and charged with Walker’s murder. Both men remain behind bars awaiting their trial that is set to begin in May.
Jones was on probation at the time of the killing and just three days prior he had reported to his probation officer Jose Rodriguez. During a civil hearing, Rodriguez testified that he asked his supervisor for a warrant to have Jones put back in prison for failing a drug test, but his supervisor said no.
The state says its investigation showed that all three probation officers -- Jose Rodriguez, Rosa Hernandez and Michelle Rivera -- were at fault and all three were fired. The officers have fought to get their jobs back, claiming they were scapegoats.
Walker’s family filed a federal lawsuit last year blaming the parole board for Walker’s death. While a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, Walker’s mother, Wayne Lipscomb, planned to appeal.
"I know Moses was not the first case where they did not do their job, it was just at this time, my family took the loss," she said in an interview last March.
Walker, who had five siblings, had planned to retire in 2013.
"It's hard for us,” said Walker's cousin, Craig Seawright Sr. “It's going to be hard for our family to take this loss. We're going to be strong, keep our heads up, but it's going to be hard.”
"He was known as a very gentle individual, very kind, never had a harsh word for anyone. Many of his coworkers, the first thing they said was he wouldn't harm a fly,” said Commissioner Ramsey. “He was just a guy with one of those mellow personalities-- always smiling, always looking to help people and it's just tragic his life ended this way."