/  07.03.2022

Bodycam footage of the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker was released to the public today (July 3). Walker, 25, was shot more than 60 times by multiple officers in Akron, Ohio. Captain Dave Laughlin, of the Akron Police Department, confirmed that 13 officers were at the scene. Eight of them fired their weapons in excess of 90 times.

“This is going to be a brutal video,” Attorney Bobby DiCello, representing Walker’s family, told USA Today ahead of the release. “It’s going to stir up some passion. It’s going to make people uneasy,” he added. The city braced for protests and possible civil unrest ahead of the footage being released.

Social justice advocates and demonstrators all assembled in front of the city courthouse chanting, “No justice, no peace.” Walker’s death marked the third fatal officer involved shooting in Akron in the past six months. Mayor Dan Horrigan said the footage was “heartbreaking” as it showed how the incident unfolded.

The recent tragedy spawned from an attempted traffic stop last Monday (June 27) in the North Hill neighborhood. Officers said they were unsuccessful in their attempts to stop Walker’s vehicle. In the footage, Walker is seen leading officers on a short pursuit before exiting the vehicle wearing a ski mask, and fleeing on foot.

 

After being pursued for a short while, Walker stops running in a nearby parking lot. In that moment he turns towards officers who then opened fire. Walker was not armed. Police did, however, recover a gun from the passenger seat of his vehicle.

Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said bodycam footage also showed officers administering aid to Walker. Soon after he was pronounced dead at the scene. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a homicide, noting his body was riddled with bullet wounds. The Beacon Journal reported, Walker had wounds to his face, abdomen, and legs.

At the conclusion of the press conference, Mayor Horrigan asked that citizens try to remain peaceful. “There is no doubt that the video you just watched is extremely disturbing, and will stir a lot of emotions, and feel shocking and hard to take in. But we are collectively calling for peace this afternoon,” he said.

In a previous joint statement, Horrigan and Police Chief Stephen L. Mylett said the shooting marked another dark day for the city. “Tragically, we are once again faced with a young man, with his life before him, gone too soon. Every single life is precious, and the loss of any life is absolutely devastating to our entire community.” Mylett also said the eight officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. The shooting is being investigated by the Criminal Bureau of Investigation and the State Attorney General’s Office.

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