SWAT teams have assembled in downtown Akron, Ohio hours after the police released footage of Jayland Walker being gunned down by officers.
On social media, floods of demonstrators with signs have been seen and heard chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, you racist cops have got to go!” Sunday afternoon (July 3), Mayor Daniel Horrigan said he hoped the city could remain in a state of peace despite the “heartbreaking” nature of the bodycam footage released to the public that afternoon.
“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,” said Horrigan during a press conference. The city anticipated demonstrators would be outraged going into the weekend. Akron’s population is roughly 200,000 people. As a safety precaution, several city-organized Fourth of July events were canceled.
Walker, 25, was killed just after midnight on June 27. Police attempted to pull Walker over for a traffic violation. Instead of stopping, he lead police on a short pursuit before exiting the vehicle in a residential neighborhood. What followed was a short foot chase that ended with Walker’s body riddled with more than 60 bullet wounds.
SWAT teams are now at the #JaylenWalker protests in Akron, guarding the police station. They are trying to display an intimidating presence….
It doesn't look like it's working pic.twitter.com/U9IJ4BSN7o
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) July 3, 2022
Thirteen police were on the scene. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said eight of them pulled their triggers and unleashed upwards of 90 bullets. Mylett said, during the vehicle pursuit officers believed Walker fired a gun out the driver side window. When the young man stopped during the foot chase, and turned towards officers, it was believed he was armed.
Walker died at the scene moments after being shot dozens of times. He was not armed. A gun was instead found in the passenger seat of his vehicle. Outraged citizens say there was no need for the excessive gunfire.
The officers who fired their weapons have been placed on paid administrative duty pending the results of independent investigations by the Criminal Bureau of Investigations, and the Attorney Generals’ Office.