A Minister representing the family claimed Thursday that 23-year-old Orlando Taylor III was murdered by Police.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)-- The family of the man killed during Sunday's police-involved shooting is speaking out after seeing Police body-worn camera footage from the incident.

A Minister representing the family claimed Thursday that 23-year-old Orlando Taylor III was murdered by Police.

The family representative criticized Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood for calling Sunday’s incident justifiable. He said the Taylor family is continuing to fight for what they believe is justice.

“This is a travesty this young man was murdered by the Springfield Police Department it was sanctioned by the Mayor and underscored by the Commissioner,” said family representative Minister Charles Stokes.

An emotional plea from the family of Orlando Taylor III on Thursday after watching police-worn body camera footage that has yet to be publicly released of the 23-year-old‘s death.

Orlando Taylor III, we will have policy with his name on it, that no other African American walking the streets of Springfield...will ever, ever get murdered again,” said Minister Stokes.

Springfield Police said on Sunday that Taylor was shot and killed after stabbing an officer in the face, then moving towards two other officers with a knife. They said the injured officer is now experiencing likely permanent facial nerve damage.

A representative for the Taylor Family, Minister Charles Stokes claimed the body camera footage of the incident had been messed with.

“We just left the District Attorney's office and the family contends no matter what that tape shows, the footage shows, everything is compromised,” said Minister Stokes.

Minister Stokes claimed Taylor’s grandmother told Police her grandson suffered from mental health issues before he was shot, something they were actively trying to help him through.

“24 hours before Orlando Taylor III was murdered, his grandmother was on the phone and his mother was on the phone and he promised his family he would go get some help,” said Minister Stokes.

Stokes said that after reaching out to every local mental health organization, no help had been provided.

“He was let down by the city and the mental health crisis here in Springfield,” said Minister Stokes.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood were also under fire by stokes for labeling the incident as justifiable hours after Taylor’s death. 

“I don’t have any confidence in the system of white supremacy to give a black man a break,” said Minister Stokes.

Since the family’s press conference, we have reached out to the Behavioral Health Network, Mayor Sarno, and the Springfield Police Department for comment but have yet to hear back.

Earlier Thursday, Mayor Sarno had this to say about the incident during this week’s taping of Western Mass News: Getting Answers with Dave Madsen.

“I look forward to DA Gulluni to follow his due process and then we will await his review and we will move forward from there,” said Mayor Sarno.

The body camera footage again has not yet been released.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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