Jul 6, 2022 - News

Fatal police shooting in Akron spurs unrest

Protestors hold signs reading "Justice for Jayland" in Akron.
Demonstrators gather outside Akron City Hall to protest the June 27 police killing of Jayland Walker. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/AFP via Getty Images

The fatal police shooting in Akron of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, has created a week's worth of civil unrest in Ohio.

Why it matters: Walker's death is the latest in a string of police shootings that have prompted a nationwide reckoning of law enforcement's use of force practices.

Catch up quick: An attempted early-morning traffic stop on June 27 led to a chase, during which Walker fired a shot out of his vehicle, the Akron Police Department alleges.

  • Walker is seen on police body camera footage eventually pulling off the road and running away.
  • Officers contend they saw Walker reaching for his waist. They then fired over 90 bullets, striking him at least 60 times.
  • Walker was unarmed when he was shot. Police say they found a handgun in the vehicle, per AP.

What's happening: Local residents peacefully protested the police shooting in the days that followed, with demonstrations turning violent after body camera videos were released Sunday, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

The latest: The state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation will lead a probe into Walker's death, as it commonly does with other police shootings in Ohio.

What they're saying: State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron), the former Democratic minority leader, tweeted the footage was "hard to watch" and "left more questions than answers."

  • "Body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture," Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement, pledging a "full review" of the incident.
  • Demetrius Travis Sr., Walker's cousin, condemned the violence in a statement and asked protesters to remain peaceful "in the fight to get justice for Jayland."
A tweet from LeBron James reading, "I pray for my city today!"
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