No matter what, supporters demand justice for Romir Talley


by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer

In some conservative-based online blogs, you’ll find comments from users saying comments such as, “Why are they marching?” or “What is the point of protesting and blocking the streets?”

If you asked any of the hundreds of marchers who formed a solid front in Wilkinsburg on Saturday, Aug. 22, they would direct you to what happened the very next day after the march, as to why they can’t take the racial injustice anymore.

MILWAUKEE ACTIVIST FRANK NITTY, who came to Pittsburgh on his way to the March on Washington on Aug. 28, with Romir Talley’s mother, Latasha Talley, and Javontae Fitzgerald.

Nearly 24 hours after Frank Nitty, a Milwaukee activist who had come to Pittsburgh, said to a crowd in Wilkinsburg that he believes the police “care about Black people the least” out of all minority groups, Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by a White police officer—in front of his three kids.

Blake survived, though he is paralyzed, and his family said it would “take a miracle” for him to ever walk again.

But people like Antwon Rose II, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Romir Talley didn’t survive. They died at the hands of law enforcement or, in Arbery’s case, by vigilantes.

Talley’s case has been front-and-center here in the Pittsburgh area because even though investigators said that Talley fired a gun at a Wilkinsburg officer first, prompting Officer Robert Gowans to return fire and kill Talley in Dec. 2019, there’s no body camera footage of the encounter. That’s because the Wilkinsburg Police Department does not have body cameras for its officers.

Talley’s family attorney has called on Officer Gowans to be fired, for the Wilkinsburg Police Department to be disbanded, and for Officer Gowans to be charged with criminal homicide.

Nitty has made national headlines for walking from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., site of the March on Washington, Friday, Aug. 28. He met Latasha Talley, Romir’s Talley, at the Aug. 22 march.

“Somebody has to be held accountable for what the police are doing,” Nitty said in an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier’s J.L. Martello. “Right now, no one is held accountable, there’s no transparency. A lot of times, if we haven’t filmed it ourselves, we don’t even know what’s going on.”

Nitty added: “Things have to change now. People are not going to keep taking this…this is not a negotiation, this is a demand. Government, we demand change.”



A SERIES OF PROTESTS converged in Wilkinsburg, Aug. 22, to denounce racial injustice and, specifically, demand justice for Romir Talley, a 24-year-old Black male who was shot and killed by Wilkinsburg Police in December 2019. In the photo at right is Latasha Talley, Romir’s mother. (Photos by J.L. Martello)


LATASHA TALLEY, the mother of Romir Talley, shown in the photo in the background. Romir Talley was shot by Wilkinsburg Police Officer Robert Gowans in December 2019. Investigators say Talley shot at the officers first, but supporters say because Wilkinsburg has no police body cameras, Wilkinsburg can’t prove their account of the events that transpired. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

MEMBERS OF THE TALLEY FAMILY, demanding justice, during a series of protests which turned into a combined march for justice, Aug. 22.

MEMBERS OF THE TALLEY FAMILY, demanding justice, during a series of protests which turned into a combined march for justice, Aug. 22.

LATASHA TALLEY, Romir Talley’s mother, and Talley’s brother, at the combined march for justice, Aug. 22, in Wilkinsburg.


1HOOD MEDIA’s JASIRI X speaking to the crowd.

DEMANDING JUSTICE—Supporters of Romir Talley call for justice in the police-involved shooting which left Talley dead in December
2019 in Wilkinsburg. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)


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