Springfield leaders react after family of Orlando Taylor reviewed body camera footage
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State and local leaders are putting the pressure on the Hampden County District Attorney office to release the body camera footage.
“We’ll have the opportunity to look at the body camera, to look at the evidence and until you actually look at the evidence, I can’t comment on the case,” said State Representative Bud Williams.
Williams told 22News that he spoke with Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni on Thursday, saying Gulluni promised an impartial and independent investigation.
As 22News has reported, Springfield Police said they were called to the Liberty Heights neighborhood Sunday for a report of a man pulling a knife on another person. When police found 23-year-old Orlando Taylor, they said he stabbed one of the officers in the face. The officer then opened fire as the suspect charged at them again. Taylor later died at Baystate Medical Center.
“After [the family] reviewed the video we completely under the passion by which they spoke,” said Bishop Talbert Swan, the President of the NAACP Springfield.
In a press conference Thursday after reviewing the body camera footage, Minister Charles Stokes spoke on behalf of the family, saying Taylor struggled with his mental health.
Bishop Talbert Swan said more needs to be done to train officers in de-escalation tactics, “…to ensure that those who do have mental health issues are properly handled and dealt with.”
22News reached out to Mayor Sarno’s Office, they declined to go on camera for further comment. However the City Solicitor did release a statement Friday afternoon on the behalf of the Mayor and Commissioner Clapprood, once again calling on the the D-A’s office to release the footage.