/  07.07.2022

With the city-wide curfew now lifted in Akron, Ohio, demonstrators marched calling for justice for Jayland Walker last night (July 6). As previously reported by REVOLT, 25-year-old Walker was fatally shot at least 60 times by police on June 27 after being stopped for a traffic violation. Eight officers are accused of firing over 90 rounds at the young Black man.

With protests continuing yesterday evening, family members of two high-profile victims were reportedly taken into custody. According to local news outlet Akron Beacon Journal, Jacob Blake’s father and Breonna Taylor’s aunt were both arrested. Blake, a Black man, was left paralyzed after being shot seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August of 2020. Twenty-six-year-old Taylor, a Black woman, was fatally shot in Louisville, Kentucky as officers burst into her apartment on March 13, 2020, during a botched raid.

Videos circulating online state Blake Sr. and fellow demonstrators were assaulted by Akron officers during last night’s protests for Jayland Walker. Blake Sr. was charged with riot, resisting arrest, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct, according to reports citing Akron Municipal Court records. Court records also show that Taylor’s aunt, 41-year-old Bianca Austin, was charged with riot, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. Several others were also arrested. Social media footage shows people being detained downtown outside of the Stubbs Justice Center.

Akron Beacon Journal states a press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today (July 7). Activists and city leaders plan to gather to discuss and denounce “militarized occupation” and address “guns pointed at us with tear gas and pepper spray choking us,” according to the site. Earlier this week, Akron’s Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement on Walker’s death, saying their officers were justified in their use of force. “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 statement read in part.

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