By: KDKA-TV News Staff
WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Attorneys for Romir Talley’s family have filed an excessive force lawsuit in federal court.
Talley was shot and killed in December 2019 by a Wilkinsburg police officer. Wilkinsburg Council has since identified Robert Gowans as that officer.
Gowans was placed on leave after the shooting.
The Talley family lawyers say there is no dash cam or body camera footage of the shooting.
- Officer On Administrative Leave After Shooting In Wilkinsburg
- Family Of Wilkinsburg Man Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting Demands Answers
- Activists Hold Vigil For Romir Talley, Killed By Wilkinsburg Police Officer
- Police: Wilkinsburg Man Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting Struck 7 Times After Firing 1 Round At Policer
- Attorney Says 911 Call Contradicts Police Accounts Of Night Romir Talley Was Killed
According to the lawsuit, the officer’s story of what happened does not match reports from witnesses or the EMS report.
Police say, on that night last year, Allegheny County’s 911 dispatchers received a call around 1 a.m. about a black man wearing a black jacket and gray sweatpants who had “pulled a gun on the caller” at the intersection of Penn Avenue and Wood Street.
The lawsuit alleges that Gowans’ claim that he received confirmation from 911 that Talley was the correct suspect is contradicted by the EMS report that says the 911 caller told dispatchers “that the Wilkinsburg officers followed the wrong person down an alley.”
The lawsuit also says that Talley’s description on that night did not fit the description given by the 911 caller. It says Talley was wearing a gray hoodie and not a black jacket.
According to the lawsuit, Gowans said that Talley fired the first shot; however, a witness near the scene said that they “perceived seven shots coming from a single gun.”
Talley was shot seven times.
A gun was recovered at the scene, police say, with one spent cartridge and four live rounds inside.
Lawyers say they hope the lawsuit is the first step to justice for Talley.
They say in a press release, “Our goal is to obtain justice for Romir Talley and his family. In so doing, we hope to send a clear and direct message to both elected officals and the People of Allegheny County that the status quo will no longer be tolerated.”
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
Stay up to date with the KDKA app, which you can download here.