Ohio cops killed Jayland Walker, 25, with shots to the face, stomach, legs, report says
Jayland Walker was shot dozens of times after he allegedly fled a traffic stop
At least eight Akron police officers have been put on leave after firing more than 90 shots at an unarmed Black motorist on Monday.
Police say Jayland Walker, 25, was fatally shot in the early hours after he fled a traffic stop, as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal. The victim’s family desperately wants to know what happened following Walker’s 4 ½-minute car chase with police from Akron’s North Hill neighborhood to Firestone Park.
Walker failed to stop when police attempted to pull him over around 12:30 a.m., according to law enforcement. Minutes later he fired a shot from his vehicle before exiting the car and running, police allege.
That’s when multiple officers unleashed a barrage of bullets that hit Walker in his arms, legs, abdomen and face, the Beacon Journal reported.
According to various reports, officers continued to shoot Wayland once he hit the ground of a parking lot. Police then handcuffed him until the medical examiner arrived. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Akron Police Department Chief Steve Mylett said officers opened fire because they deemed Walker a threat after he exited his vehicle.
“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 police statement said, as reported by CNN.
According to a medical examiner report, a gun was found in Walker’s vehicle, but police have not made clear whether he was armed when they shot him dozens of times. Walker’s manner of his death has been ruled a homicide, as reported by WEWS-TV.
Walker’s death prompted demonstrations and protests that blocked the streets in front of the Akron Police Department. The mayor also canceled the Rib, White and Blue Festival this weekend as part of the city’s July 4 celebrations, WJW reports.
Walker’s grief-stricken family gathered Thursday outside St. Ashworth Church on to call for peace amid the public’s outrage. They also want the officers who shot Walker to be held accountable.
“I stand before you all with a family who is heartbroken, devastated, confused and searching for answers. There’s no words to describe what this family is going through. From what we’ve read, 90 shots,” family attorney Paige White said at a Thursday press conference.
“We don’t treat animals that way,” 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.”
Walker’s family wants the public to know that he was a “good man,” despite any negative or contradicting reports that the media may try to spin in the coming days and weeks.
“I know a lot of people like to say that their loved ones are good,” Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, Walker’s aunt, said. “But it’s the truth.”
“We want you to know who Jayland was. We don’t want him to be portrayed as some thug,” she added. “Jayland was a sweet young man. He never caused any trouble. We don’t know what happened and we’d like to know,” Walker-Dawkins said.
The family is expected to view the body camera footage of the shooting, which will then be released to the public Sunday, according to the Beacon Journal.
“Jayland, not one time in his life, and you can search this city, this state and this country, never offended or bothered a soul. And how these events took place leaves us with many, many questions,” Bobby DiCello, the lead attorney for the Walker family, said.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Mylett released a joint statement on Wednesday that in part said: “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.”
The statement continued, “Our prayers are with Jayland Walker’s loved ones, and we offer our sincere condolences to all those who knew him. Our thoughts are also with our Akron police officers and their families.”
The officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the Akron Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit with assistance from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
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