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On June 27th, Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black Man, was shot 60 times by eight Akron police officers (seven white, one Black) after fleeing a traffic stop.
The incident occurred at 12:30 a.m., when officers attempted to stop Walker for a traffic violation. The driver refused, resulting in a police pursuit. A single cruiser was seen chasing Walker from Tallmadge Avenue onto southbound state Route 8. Then, a second cruiser appears, and from a camera overseeing I-77 and Archwood Avenue, 10 cruisers are viewed following Walker at 12:35 am.
After chasing Walker for a few minutes, Walker slowed down and fled the vehicle while it was moving, leading officials on a “foot pursuit” that ended in the parking lot. During the 4 1/2 minute chase from Akron’s North Hill neighborhood to Firestone Park, the officers fired 90 bullets at Walker.
Protests erupt after police shoot Akron man over 60 times
Police state that a gun was fired from Walker’s vehicle, and a weapon was found after a medical examiner’s report. However, officials continued shooting at Walker, even after he fell to the ground, hitting him in the arms, legs, abdomen, and face. They then proceeded to handcuff Walker until a medical examiner pronounced him dead at the scene.
According to an Akron police statement, “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them. In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect.”
The Walker family was heartbroken and devastated after the death of their son, friend, and patron saint to the community. The family wants peace and justice from the department.
On Thursday, Pamela Walker, his mother, and Jada Walker, his sister, could not even speak, as their hearts were filled with agony, unable to express their feelings to the public.
Bobby DiCello and Paige White, attorneys representing the Walker Family, demand accountability from several Akron police officers.
“I stand before you all with a family who is heartbroken, devastated, confused, and searching for answers. There are no words to describe what this family is going through. But, from what we’ve read, 90 shots,” White said to the public as Pamela burst into tears, seeking comfort from her daughter.
White continued, “Time and again, what we see across this country are white people who are able to commit crimes, to slaughter people, and who live to tell the tale. Jayland Walker wasn’t able to do that.”
Mayor cancels Fourth of July celebrations
Jada Walker, who was supposed to speak at the press conference, went with her mother into the church, where they both began crying and wailing.
A joint statement was issued by the Akron police chief and Mayor Dan Horrigan stating, “We know that no police officer ever wants to discharge their service weapon in the line of duty and anytime they must, it’s a dark day for our city, for the families of those involved, as well as for the officers. Tragically, we are once again faced with a young man, with his life before him, gone too soon.”
Horrigan and Mykett also informed citizens that the police bodycam footage and further information on the incident would be released “in the following days.”
Following the murder, many Akron citizens began protesting in honor of Walker, blocking traffic in the streets, leading to Horrigan canceling Fourth of July events, stating, “now is no time to celebrate.”
The family will not stop until their son gets the justice he deserves, and they ask their attorneys to inform the police. Moreover, the family requested that Walker not be spun into anything other than the “good man” he was. Walker has never been arrested or in trouble with the cops before.
The eight Akron police officers involved in the shooting of Jayland Walker have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Akron Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ohio Bureau of Crime Investigation.