Mural of Fallen Sgt. Robert Wilson III Unveiled in Strawberry Mansion
The portrait allows the late sergeant to continue to watch over the neighborhood he once patrolled.
With the unveiling of a new mural in his honor, the late Sgt. Robert Wilson III will continue to watch over the neighborhood he once patrolled for years to come.
The call for the Strawberry Mansion memorial came from City Council President Darrell Clarke, who approached Jane Golden, the executive director of Mural Arts, with the idea. She was immediately on board, she said, and set out to make it happen.
Speaking at the unveiling on Thursday, Clarke praised Wilson as a pillar of exemplary community policing.
“We honor a true hero that was a part of this community for many years and met an unfortunate circumstance,” Clarke said. “He was a person that represented the relationship that we had with the police department and the city of Philadelphia.”
On March 5, 2015, the sergeant was on-duty when he stopped at a GameStop in North Philly off Lehigh Avenue to make a security check and buy his son a video game as a reward for good grades. He was standing at the counter when brothers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams entered the store. Some 50 shots rang out, as the brothers exchanged gunfire with Wilson’s partner Damien Stephenson. During the gunfire, Wilson moved away from the customers to draw the gunfire toward himself — and continued to fight even after being hit, according to then Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Wilson was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he died shortly after, leaving behind two children.
The police department later renamed its valor medal after him.
Hipps and Williams were recently sentenced to life without parole — plus 50 years — in exchange for a guilty plea. Wilson’s family had been pulling for a death sentence.
On hand for the unveiling ceremony, the sergeant’s sister, Shak’ira Wilson Burroughs, reflected on what it means to see her brother’s face back in the neighborhood, at the intersection of 29th Street and Ridge Avenue.
“It still just gives us the sense that the community where he worked, you know, still is behind him, still supportive, and still remember him,” she said. “It makes us feel real good.”