PICKENS COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — We’re now getting a clearer picture of what happened the day Pickens County Sheriff’s deputies forced their way into a Gordo man’s home after performing a welfare check.
The incident happened in August 2019, resulting in the death of Wallace Wilder, 62. Now, new body camera footage reveals the events leading to his death.
Family just received the video and shared it with CBS 42, because they said they want to hold everyone accountable for their actions that day and bring more awareness to mental health.
“Get him again,” a deputy said in the video as police forced their way into Wilder’s home. It comes after family said a neighbor called for a mental wellness check after hearing a noise at his apartment.
“To actually see it, it was devastating and heartbreaking,” Mariah Wilder, Wallace’s daughter said.
Mariah and niece Renota Harris said the worst part is how he was treated.
“The hardest part is no accountability for me,” Harris said. “How can law enforcement be so inhumane?”
Not long after getting inside is when the gunshots ring out.
“What is clear is the police went in without any warrant, without any warning, without any reason to be going into Mr. Wilder’s home and they shot and killed him,” Attorney Jonathan F. Austin said.
Austin said the biggest question is why. Camera footage shows police saying Wilder had a knife, but deputies spent close to an hour from when they got there before forcing their way inside.
“I wanna talk to you,” an officer said at Wilder’s door.
“I ain’t got nothin’ to say to you,” Wilder responds.
“You ain’t got nothing to say?” the officer asks.
Wilder was not a stranger to the department – known for being schizophrenic.
“Just because he had a mental health issue that does not exclude him from being human,” Harris said.
The family said he was not having an episode that day. Austin said police knew they should not have escalated the situation.
“Something needs to be done about it so we’re doing our part by raising awareness for it and seeking justice for the Wilder family,” Austin said.
The Alabama Attorney General’s office is investigating, and no one has been charged in the case – we reached out to them, and they declined to comment on the footage.
Sheriff Todd Hall also did not wish to comment – this comes after the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in April. Hall was there the day of the shooting.
We will continue to follow this case and provide updates as they become available.