The mother of a man who was shot and killed by police after he allegedly shot an officer attended a local rally for Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri.
David Ellis, 29, was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in the Tacony section of the city after he allegedly opened fire on several police officers. During the shooting, a bullet grazed 15th District officer Stephen Korpalski in the head.
Both Ellis and Korpalski were taken to the hospital. Ellis was pronounced dead a short time later. Korpalski, a 14-year veteran and married father with a newborn child, survived the shooting and is currently recovering at home.
Tuesday night, Ellis’ mother, Marcia Lewis, attended a rally in West Philadelphia for 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri back on August 9. During the rally, which began at 6 p.m. on 52nd and Market Streets, around 100 protesters gathered to bring awareness on the continued unrest in Ferguson.They later marched to 46th and Market Streets in a peaceful protest.
Lewis also spoke at the rally, claiming her son didn't deserve to die.
"This is my belief and I stand by it until I hear further," Lewis told the crowd.
Lewis later spoke with NBC10.
"I don't believe that my son would fire at an officer," she said. "I commend those officers for being out there doing their job but I don't commend an unjust, violent, excessive use of force."
In addition to Lewis, Ellis’ aunt Anita Lewis-Nolton also attended the rally. According to Lewis-Nolton, Ellis was “getting his life back together,” prior to Tuesday morning’s shooting and had a daughter who just turned 10. She also claimed her nephew’s death was “one more example of police brutality like what’s happening in Ferguson.”
"I believe they didn't have to kill him, " Lewis-Nolton said.
The Justice Department, which is reviewing officer-involved shootings in Philadelphia, is currently investigating the incident.
"We have to really make sure the shooting was justified at the time," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "We have to make sure we have a thorough investigation."
Prior to the shooting, Ramsey told NBC10 he was asked by authorities in Missouri to participate in a conference call where he gave advice on crowd control.
“As much as we like to think that relationships have improved with many of our more challenged communities, obviously there are still a lot of issues there,” Ramsey said. “We need to get to it and we need to resolve them and it has to happen not during a time of crisis but before a crisis occurs.”