On July 3, bodycam footage showing the officer-involved shooting death of Jayland Walker was made public. Following the video’s release, Arkon Mayor Dan Horrigan canceled Fourth of July celebrations in the city and later declared a state of emergency after protests erupted. Authorities have also begun releasing statements in the wake of the traffic stop that led to 25-year-old Walker being shot at least 60 times.
Akron’s Fraternal Order of Police said, “This incident is a tragedy for our entire community, including the family of Jayland Walker, as well as all of the officers involved. Many officers work their entire career without discharging their weapon. A split-second decision to use lethal force is one that every police officer hopes he or she will never be forced to make.” The statement continued, “Each and every officer involved is cooperating fully with an independent investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.” The organization noted that more details will become available as the investigation proceeds. The Akron FOP said “traffic cameras captured a muzzle flash when Mr. Walker discharged his weapon while fleeing the police.”
The Akron FOP ended their statement by saying, “We believe the independent investigation will justify the officers’ actions, including the number of shots fired. The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired is consistent with use of force protocols and officers’ training. The Akron FOP acknowledges the pain and suffering of Mr. Walker’s family and joins them in calling for peace in our community. We are at the beginning stages of this investigation and much work remains. The Akron FOP urges the public to withhold judgment until all the evidence is gathered and the investigation concludes.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has promised the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will “conduct a complete, fair and expert investigation.” Yost added, “Body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture – before drawing conclusions, the full review must take place.” The Department of Justice has also stepped in, saying, “If the evidence reveals potential violations of federal criminal statutes, the Justice Department will take appropriate action.” Walker was killed on June 27.