SPRINGIFELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)—Springfield’s Police Commissioner spoke with Western Mass News one day after strong accusations coming from the family of the man killed in an officer involved shooting on Sunday. This, as attention turns to what the police body cam video shows. and the 9-1-1 call that initially brought officers to the scene.
The Springfield Police Department addressed serious allegations made by the family of Orlando Taylor III after they viewed police body cam video from Sunday morning.
“We want people to see the body-worn camera footage, we are saddened and disappointed…Emotions and a one-sided narrative is getting out there, but we will accept that also and we will wait for the DA to say we can now release what we have prepared for the media and for the public,” said Springfield police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
Minister Charles Stokes spoke on behalf of Orlando’s family says the 23-year-old was murdered in the officer-involved shooting. he says orlando’s grandmother was pleading with the officer not to kill her grandson because he suffered from mental illness.
“When the grandmother called out stop, do not kill my grandson -, the officer didn't stop because he wasn't trained to stop. He didn't know where to call for crisis intervention,” said Minister Stokes.
Bishop Talbert Swan, the president of the Greater Springfield NAACP chapter also weighed in on the claims made by the family.
“Black communities have been traumatized by this for many, many years so we understand the level of pain, frustration that the family is going through at this time and the questions they may have surrounding the killing of Orlando Taylor,” said Bishop Swan.
he is reserving judgment on whether or not the killing was justifiable until a full investigation is completed by the Hampden District Attorney's Office.
“We are hoping the District Attorney will release that information as soon as possible so the entire public will be able to see for themselves,” said Bishop Swan.
Meanwhile, Western Mass News has learned more from Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood about the initial 9-1-1 call that brought officers to the scene.
“It was a call for assault by means of a knife in progress. Unfortunately, the decent tried to stab a man on the street and we were responding to that. It was not a case where you would have a mental health care worker go anyways,” said Commissioner Clapprood.
Commissioner Clapprood told Western Mass News the person who Orlando was thought to be targeting cooperated with Police and provided a statement regarding Sunday’s incident.
“And we are prepared to say it's an unfortunate incident, but it is justifiable action by my offers. The behavior and actions by Mr. Taylor unfortunately led his demise, not his race and not any other circumstances,” said Commissioner Clapprood.
The city solicitor has reached out to the District Attorney's office requesting the video be made public as soon as possible and in compliance with the body-worn camera program. A spokesperson from the DA’s office told Western Mass News that once the investigation is complete, a public presentation of the findings will be made available, however, a date has yet to be announced.