#Justice4RomirTalley- The Fight Continues

Updated: Apr 20

The Story:

Romir was shot and killed by former Wilkinsburg Officer Robert Gowans on December 22, 2019. The community and the families attorney (Paul Jubas) have pointed out several inconsistencies with the officer's statements. For example, the EMS report indicates that the person who contacted 911 called back to tell them that they had the wrong suspect. If the EMS report is accurate, it proves that Officer Gowans killed an innocent man.

Despite this he was hired by Penn Hills police in May of 2021. We along with other community activists pushed for him to be fired. He was terminated but, Penn Hills failed to communicate that he appealed the decision with the Police Advisory Board of the Penn Hills Police Department (Police Union). Despite him being a probationary officer, the arbitrator ruled in his favor and put him back on the job December 13, 2021.

This is a slap in the face to Romir’s family and the Black community of Allegheny County as well as Penn Hills. The anniversary of Romir’s shooting death is on December 22nd. How much trauma does this family have to experience? This also highlights several issues regarding transparency and hiring with the municipality of Penn Hills. Additionally, this exhibits a pattern of police unions and the Allegheny County DA ‘s office, routinely protecting officers and putting the community at risk. An officer with an open investigation should not be patrolling the streets.

Police Unions, ACT 111 and Allegheny County Police Review Board:

This situation also pushes issues with police unions to the forefront. Officer Gowans was able to appeal the termination and file a grievance. This led to an arbitration hearing where he was given his job back. Police unions routinely protect officers and any stall hope of improving policing. Current PA laws such as ACT 111 provide more information regarding PA police unions.

Act 111 of 1968 is a PA state law that allows for binding arbitration when a collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached between a municipality and its police officers & firefighters. Arbitration is offered in exchange for a prohibition against striking. This has a significant fiscal impact on municipal budgets. We are in support of making ACT 111 a fairer process by requiring the cost of the third arbitrator to be shared equally by both sides; demanding that the arbitrator to justify the arbitration award based on the facts and evidence presented; the arbitrator be a neutral third party and requiring the evidentiary hearings to be open to the public. This situation with Officer Gowans also brings about concerns with Penn Hills. They interviewed and hired an officer who has an active investigation with the Allegheny County DA’s office for an officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of a Black man. Why wasn’t the public notified before they initially hired him? This is a high-profile case that has made national news more than once. They have also not yet opted (voluntary) into participating in the Allegheny County Police Review Board that was passed in 2021.

How You Can Take Action:

We will continue to visit Penn Hills council meetings etc. and make noise until Romir and his family receive justice. If interested in joining this cause please email us at takeactionmonvalley@gmail.com or text 412-440-8268.

Additionally, contact the police union, Mayor, Officer Gowans, the DA and Penn Hills police chief to demand that Officer Gowans be placed on desk duty immediately and then terminated. Let the DA know that the investigation has gone on too long. It's time to charge Officer Robert Gowans for shooting & killing Romir Talley. Let them know we haven’t forgotten, and we still want #Justice4RomirTalley:

Mayor Pauline Calabrese



Chief Ronald Como Phone: 412.342.1088 rcomo@pennhills.org

President Police Advisory Board of the Penn Hills Police Department

Officer Gary Renko

412-342-1188 xt. 3378 grenko@pennhills.org

Officer Robert Gowans Phone: 412.342.1188 Ext. 3381 E-Mail: rgowans@pennhills.org

Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala

(412) 350-4401

Facebook @AlleghenyCountyDA

Twitter @AlleghenyCoDA


Get Involved:

To help us get justice for Romir Talley email us at takeactionmonvalley@gmail.com or text 412-440-8268.

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