SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The investigation into the police shooting death of Orlando Taylor is over. The DA released his office’s findings of the investigation.
He also released the police bodycam footage, and a warning that video is tough to watch. Taylor’s family wants to shed light on police reform, and the importance of mental health in the black community. The Hampden District Attorney’s office releasing the police bodycam footage of the shooting death of Orlando Taylor. DA Anthony Gulluni calling the case closed and investigation complete.
“It’s this office’s opinion that officer Falcon use of deadly force was reasonable and unavoidable.” said Gullini.
Taylor was killed on the morning of January 9, when Springfield Police responded to reports of a man with a weapon along Genessee Street in the city’s Liberty Heights neighborhood.
According to police, Taylor stabbed responding Officer Arjel Falcon in the face. Moments later, you can see in the bodycam footage, Falcon’s hands bloodied, while he and other officers chase after Taylor, then Taylor comes towards the officers as they repeatedly yell for him to drop the knife.
“To see what I saw. No grandparent should have witnessed something as horrific as that.” said Earlene Taylor, Orlando’s grandmother.
Taylor’s grandmother Earlene watched her grandson get shot and die that day. She says Taylor suffered from mental illness and she tried to get him help over the years, but the city’s health services system failed her family.
“Had there been a thorough, comprehensive, unbiased, assessment on Orlando it could have given him a continuum of care. We believe if that assessment had taken place Orlando Taylor III would not have been on the streets.” said Minister Charles Stokes, family spokesperson.
The family doesn’t agree with the DA’s assessment that force was “reasonable and unavoidable” – but say they accept the findings. Now they want to use Taylor’s shooting death by police – as a call to action for better mental health services in the black community.
“The main issue will be and is mental health and it’s 2022. You definitely could find other ways to handle situations like that.” said Yusef Eddington, Taylor’s brother.
“People need to come out and you write your legislators what’s going on because the only way these changes can be made is if we speak out.” said Earlene Taylor.
Officer Falcon won’t face any charges. The DA saying criminal charges are not warranted. The mayor’s office released a statement saying the body camera video speaks for itself and the release allows for the transparency that the city had wanted.