Yesterday (July 3), SWAT teams descended upon the city of Akron, Ohio as protesters gathered to call out law enforcement and city officials for the shooting death of Jayland Walker. As previously reported by REVOLT, last week (June 27), a routine traffic stop led to the 25-year-old Black man being shot at least 60 times. A team of eight officers reportedly fired over 90 rounds at Walker.
Today (July 4), Arkon Mayor Dan Horrigan declared a state of emergency. He also issued a curfew for the city. Residents have been instructed to stay indoors between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow. As many throughout the United States plan to celebrate the Fourth of July, Horrigan has decided his city will opt out this year. “I completely understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this holiday weekend. Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and a time of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration,” he said last week.
Although yesterday’s protests began peacefully, Horrigan claims damage led to his decision. In a statement released today, the mayor said, “Early yesterday, we had several peaceful protests in the downtown footprint related to the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker. These protests did not escalate to violence and destruction.” It appears the circumstances soon changed. “However, as night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful. There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron,” he noted.
Horrigan condemned the demonstrations adding, “We cannot and will not tolerate violence or the destruction of property. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for tonight.”