PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia police officer killed in an alleged mugging might still be alive if one of the suspects, a recent parolee, had been re-imprisoned, lawyers said.
The family of Moses Walker Jr. announced a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The suit was filed in federal court.
"Officer Walker's murder occurred as the result of a systemic breakdown," lawyer Michael F. Barrett said in a news conference at his Philadelphia office. "Officer Walker would not have lost his life if the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and his subordinates had done their jobs."
Walker, 40, who was in charge of the lockup at a North Philadelphia police station, was shot as he walked to a bus stop after an overnight shift.
Rafael Jones, 23, one of two suspects in the killing, had been paroled 10 days earlier after serving time on a gun charge. Barrett said Jones had failed a drug test and had not been subjected to electronic monitoring.
In the lawsuit, Walker's family charges the board deliberately avoids arresting parolees to reduce recidivism rates. Jones' parole officer had reportedly requested an arrest warrant and was turned down by supervisors.
Walker was close to retirement. His mother, Wayne Lipscomb, sat silently during the news conference, weeping.
"Moses was every mother's dream come true," she said in a statement read by her lawyer. "A good man, a kind, caring and gentle man, deeply devoted to our family, his friends, fellow police officers and above all, his faith."