WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — More details are being learned about when some Wilkinsburg Borough leaders found out the name of the police officer accused of shooting and killing Romir Talley
Talley was shot and killed by Wilkinsburg police on Dec. 22, 2019. On Wednesday, Wilkinsburg Council President Pamela Macklin identified the police officer as Robert Gowans. He was placed on administrative leave following the shooting, but it is not known if that is still the case.
Talley’s grandmother expressed her feelings towards Macklin on Wednesday, asking for transparency in her grandson’s death.
“It’s not going to go away and they’re not going to get away with what they’ve done,” Talley’s grandmother said. “There’s no video of my grandson. But I know one thing, he didn’t shoot at a cop and they need to get that straight.”
Police said Talley fired one round at a police officer, now identified by the council a Gowans, who fired back, striking Talley seven times.
“I asked her, ‘Do you know the name of the officer?’ And Pamela finally said she knows the name of the officer and I’m glad I did that,” said activist Rose Price.
Wilkinsburg Mayor Marita Garrett told KDKA’s Amy Wadas over the phone on Thursday that she learned Gowans’ name in December after the shooting. She said Macklin and council Vice President Paige Trice found out the name when the Wilkinsburg police chief sent them all an email.
Garrett said she couldn’t release the name due to it being an open investigation. However, Macklin said she just learned the name of that officer on Wednesday.
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“I didn’t see this email she said I received. So she sent that to me today because I’ve been saying I don’t know for a long time. I don’t know what caused her to send that to me today but she sent it to me,” said Macklin on Wednesday.
“We expect charges. There has been new evidence coming to light. We believe this evidence sharply contradicts the police officer’s statement. And as (Allegheny County) DA (Stephen) Zappala stated, this is messy and the only way that we can properly sift through all of this information, the evidence, is to put it through a trial,” said Attorney Paul Jubas.
The Allegheny County Police Department is handling this investigation. They said they’re waiting on the DA’s office to determine if charges will be filed, however, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough says he does not anticipate charges being filed against the officer.
Meantime, KDKA reached out to the Wilkinsburg police chief to find out if that officer is still on administrative leave and hasn’t heard back.