Posted on February 8, 2022

NAACP, Family Claim Man Who Stabbed Officer in the Face Was Shot “Because He Was Black”

Scott A. Davis, Law Enforcement Today, January 12,, 2022

The family of a man who was shot and killed after stabbing an officer in the face joined liberal activist groups claiming he was killed for being black.

Two Springfield police officers were called to Genesee Street in the city’s Liberty Heights neighborhood on Sunday morning for a report of a man threatening someone with a knife.

Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said police arrived around 8:30 a.m. and located a man who matched the description provided to police.

Police said that as officers confronted the armed man, identified as 23-year-old Orlando Taylor, he stabbed one of the officers in the face.

Commissioner Clapprood said:

“The suspect, an adult male, then stabbed one of the two responding officers in the face after being told multiple times to drop the weapon.”


The injured officer, who has not been identified, was also transported to Bayside for treatment of serious injuries, according to police. He suffered nerve damage and faced multiple surgeries. {snip}


Taylor’s family has now come out accusing the officers of shooting him because he was black.

The Taylor family, joined by Minister Charles Stokes of the Black Liberation Alliance for Change, staged a brief press conference {snip}

Taylor’s grandmother, Earlene Victoria Taylor, was on the porch of the home at the time of the shooting. She said she pleaded with officers not to shoot Taylor:

“I pleaded with the police officer not to shoot my grandson, not to shoot him because he has mental illness. {snip}


“If this was a white person, this would not have happened. I know it. I mean, tell it the way it is and that’s exactly what it is.”

Rev. Stokes called the shooting a “wanton disrespect for life,” saying Taylor was a “good, young man.”


The Hampden District Attorney’s Office is investigating the shooting. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno on Sunday said he had reviewed the  police bodycam footage and he believes the police acted appropriately:


A coalition of community groups, including the leader of the Greater Springfield NAACP, has criticized officials’ comments supporting the officers and called for an independent investigation by a neutral party.


(Editor’s note: The DA later ruled the shooting an act of self-defense.)