PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The family of a 24-year-old man killed in an officer-involved shooting over the weekend is demanding answers.
Romir Talley’s mother wants to see her son but says she hasn’t been able to since he was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Wilkinsburg.
His family, who retained Todd J. Hollis Law, is asking for a full investigation into his death.
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“The family wants transparency. Mom is willing to accept whatever that truth is. Whether that truth is good or bad,” said attorney Todd Hollis.
Wilkinsburg police were called to the intersection of Penn Avenue and Wood Street early Sunday morning in response to reports of a man threatening another person with a gun.
When they arrived, they found a man who matched the description on Penn Avenue and identified him as 24-year-old Romir Talley.
Talley apparently led officers on a foot chase.
According to Wilkinsburg Police, Talley allegedly pulled out a gun and fired a shot at the pursuing officer during the chase. The officer then returned fire, hitting Talley. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Allegheny County Examiner’s Office reported on Dec. 26 that Talley received gunshot wounds to the head, chest and extremities.
Hollis read a statement from Talley’s mother at a news conference Tuesday morning: “He was painted to be an aggressive and violent young black man, but he was a beautiful, bright young man that the system failed.”
“Our entire family is suffering from a devastating loss and very heavy hearts at this time.”
Hollis says Wilkinsburg police do not wear body cameras. However, his office believes there were security cameras nearby.
Wilkinsburg police released a statement Monday, saying in part:
“We believe that the officers followed protocol and responded accordingly in a perilous situation. Our department is working closely with the Allegheny County Homicide Division and the family of the actor to ensure a clear and thorough investigation is completed.
It would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the increase in violence, specifically homicides over these past two years. In the Department’s consistency to be proactive, public safety forums were reinstated last year, been more vigilant working with residents to increase safety and more options on how to address this epidemic.”
The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Hollis said there are still so many unanswered questions.
“Young black men in Wilkinsburg know what’s gonna happen when you shoot at a police officer,” he said.
“So to the extent that that happened, we need to know why. I’m not saying that the police officer did anything wrong. What the family is looking for is transparency.”