PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mother of a man shot and killed last December by a Wilkinsburg Police Officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the Borough’s mayor, police chief and the officers involved.
Attorneys for LaTasha Talley, the mother of Romir Talley, held a press conference announcing the complaint.READ MORE: Franklin Park YMCA Installs Butler Co. Company's Virus-Killing Copper Material Invention
The complaint accuses Police Officer Robert Gowans of excessive force and unreasonable seizure.
It charges the Borough with failing to properly train its officers.
Shortly after midnight on December 22nd, Romir Talley ran from a Wilkinsburg Police Officer, who shot him seven times, including one in the head.
Officer Robert Gowans told investigators Talley fired first, but the family lawyer says he didn’t.
“We’ve only been able to uncover a number of pieces of evidence and one of those pieces of evidence is that only one firearm was fired,” said Attorney Paul Jubas.
From the steps of Borough Hall, Attorney Paul Jubas decried the action of Officer Gowans, whom he said mistook Talley for another suspect and rolled up on him suddenly, causing Talley to flee in fear.READ MORE: Former Allegheny County Council President John DeFazio Passes Away
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Jubas maintains Gowans shot without provocations but the family has been unable to get the evidence to hold the police accountable.
“They don’t even have body cams and dash cams. It’s inexplicable. There’s no reason for it,” Jubas said.
He accused both the Borough and the District Attorney’s Office with stonewalling, preventing the families from getting the facts and preventing own investigation from going forward.
Jubas also said one reason for the lawsuit is to have the courts compel the surrender of that evidence.
“At the very least there should be transparency, there should accountability. There should be an open line of communication between families of victims of police violence and law enforcement organizations that are investigating. There is none of that,” Jubas said.
Jubas hopes that discovery in this lawsuit will provide those answers.MORE NEWS: Police: Man Falsely Reports His Vehicle As Stolen, Googles 'How To Set Your Car On Fire And Make It Look Like An Accident'
KDKA investigator Andy Sheehan reached out to the Wilkinsburg mayor and police chief, but his calls were not returned.