Killing of Jayland Walker

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Killing of Jayland Walker
DateJune 27, 2022; 20 months ago (2022-06-27)
Time≈ 12:30 a.m. (EDT; UTC−4)
LocationAkron, Ohio, U.S.
TypeHomicide by shooting, police killing
ParticipantsEight unnamed officers, currently on paid administrative leave[1]
DeathsJayland Walker

On June 27, 2022, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Akron, Ohio, police officers shot Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old American from Akron. Following a traffic stop and car chase, footage showed an officer saying that Walker’s car is slowing down, having reached speeds of more than 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) in residential neighborhoods. Seconds later, Walker, wearing a ski mask, exited the vehicle and began to flee on foot. Officers pursued on foot and fired more than 90 times at Walker.[2][3] Autopsy results showed that Walker's body was hit by more than 46 bullets.[4][5]

Walker was not carrying a weapon when killed. A handgun was later found in Walker's car, and officers reported a firearm being discharged during the preceding car chase.[6][7][8] Police said a bullet casing consistent with the recovered Glock handgun (which Walker purchased from a gun store in Akron approximately a week before his death) was found in the area where they say a shot was fired (the southbound entrance ramp to State Route 8 at Tallmadge Avenue).[9][10][11][12]

A grand jury voted for a "no bill" on charges for the officers involved.

Background[edit]

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 26, 2022, a New Franklin police officer attempted to pull over a vehicle owned by Walker, because the car had a broken taillight and a missing license plate bulb. The driver failed to stop and drove at speeds approaching 50 mph on city streets before crossing the Akron city line into Coventry Township, at which point the pursuing officer ended the less-than-three-minute chase.[13][14]

Incident[edit]

According to the Akron Police Department, at about 12:30 a.m.[15] on June 27, 2022, police in Akron, Ohio, attempted to stop Walker for a traffic violation on unspecified equipment failure.[5][16][6][7] Walker did not stop and a chase ensued.[15][16][6] According to the pursuing officers, gunfire came from the vehicle less than a minute into the chase.[16][7][15] After several minutes, Walker exited the highway and the chase continued along city streets.[6]

Eventually, Walker's car slowed down, and while the car was still moving, Walker, wearing a ski mask,[17] exited from the passenger's side, and ran towards a nearby parking lot.[16][6][7] Officers chased Walker and attempted to stop him with a stun gun but were not successful.[16][6] After about ten seconds of chasing Walker, eight police officers opened fire for six or seven seconds,[16] shooting approximately 90 rounds.[3] Police said that it appeared Walker was turning towards them, and they believed he was armed and "moving into a firing position".[7]

Following the shooting, Walker was put in handcuffs by police and was found with his hands cuffed behind his back when EMTs arrived on the scene.[18][19] According to police, officers attempted to administer first aid to Walker after he was shot.[16] Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.[16][7] No firearm was found on Walker's body.[6][20] The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled his death a homicide.[21][2]

On July 15, 2022, the medical examiner released autopsy results. Walker's body was hit with 46 bullets in total, and the toxicology report showed that no drugs or alcohol were present in his system.[22][4]

Investigation[edit]

Police recovered a pistol, a loaded magazine, and a wedding ring on the driver's seat of Walker's car.[16][7] A bullet casing that police say is consistent with the recovered pistol was found along the highway in the area where police say Walker fired.[16][7]

The eight officers who opened fire were placed on paid administrative leave following standard protocol in a police shooting.[16][6][7] On October 11, the officers were reinstated to administrative duties. Police Chief Steve Mylett said he was forced to do so because of a shortage of officers.[23] The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation led the probe into the shooting.[6][7]

In April 2023, a grand jury declined to file charges against any of the officers involved.[24]

Body camera footage[edit]

On July 3, 2022, police held a press conference and released body camera video from the eight officers who opened fire, as well as five additional officers on the scene.[16][6][7]

At the press conference, police displayed still images that they say showed a muzzle flash coming from Walker's vehicle during the highway chase.[16][7]

Police also displayed still images that they say showed Walker reaching towards his waist area during the foot chase, turning towards an officer, and making "a forward motion of his arm".[16]

The body camera footage released by police ends after the officers opened fire and does not depict what happened afterwards.[16]

Reactions[edit]

The day of the shooting, protesters gathered outside the police department in downtown Akron. Standoffs with police and tense moments occurred. Barricades were installed around the police department on July 2. Protests went on for more than three days straight.[25]

Akron officials announced that July 4 celebrations would be cancelled due to the shooting.[21] Akron mayor Dan Horrigan declared a state of emergency and issued a curfew for the downtown Akron area in response to property destruction during night-time riots.[26] The curfew was lifted on July 17, 2022.[27]

In November 2022 voters approved creating a permanent police oversight board and police auditor for the Akron Police Department.[28]

Family reaction to grand jury decision[edit]

The Walker family attorney, Bobby DiCello: Walker’s family is going to prepare a civil lawsuit against the city/officers closer to the one-year anniversary of Jayland Walker's death (his client's death).[29] On April 19, protesters broke windows at three restaurants in the Highland Square neighborhood, Wally Waffle, Chipotle, and Irie Jamaican Kitchen.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Li, David K.; Syed, Mohammed; Scott, Marin (July 1, 2022). "8 Akron, Ohio, police officers placed on leave following killing of Jayland Walker". www.nbcnews.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Dominguez, Claudia (July 1, 2022). "Ohio police officers on paid administrative leave after fatal shooting of Jayland Walker". CNN. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Trexler, Phil; Saenz, Marisa (June 29, 2022). "3News Investigates: 8 Akron police officers fired 90-plus shots during confrontation with fleeing motorist". WKYC. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Somasundaram, Praveena (July 15, 2022). "Jayland Walker was shot nearly four dozen times, autopsy results show". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 16, 2022. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Masturzo, Phil (July 15, 2022). "Medical examiner says Jayland Walker was shot dozens of times". NPR. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Madani, Doha (July 3, 2022). "Ohio police release graphic bodycam footage in fatal shooting of Jayland Walker". NBC News. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Morse, Gaelen; Borter, Gabriella (July 4, 2022). "Video shows Ohio officers killed unarmed Black man in hail of bullets". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  8. ^ Marotta, Eric; Marshall, Abbey (July 1, 2022). "Akron police shot Jayland Walker at least 60 times: Attorney describes body-camera footage". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  9. ^ Cineas, Fabiola (July 7, 2022). "What we know about the deadly police shooting of Jayland Walker". Vox. Archived from the original on July 10, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  10. ^ "AG Yost Releases Investigative Documents in Jayland Walker Case - Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost". www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.
  11. ^ "Grand jury declines to criminally charge 8 Akron officers involved in Jayland Walker's death". wkyc.com. April 17, 2023.
  12. ^ "What is suicide by cop, and how should police respond in these situations?". Yahoo News. April 18, 2023.
  13. ^ Trexler, Phil; Saenz, Marisa (July 1, 2022). "3News Investigates: Jayland Walker fled from officers night before fatal chase with Akron police". wkyc.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  14. ^ Livingston, Doug (July 3, 2022). "Gruesome videos, Jayland Walker's motions intensify debate; attorney disputes city's claims". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Holpuch, Amanda (July 2, 2022). "Akron Police Officers Placed on Leave After Fatal Shooting of Black Man". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Video shows Akron police kill Black man in hail of gunfire". Associated Press. July 3, 2022. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  17. ^ "Officers will not face state charges in Jayland Walker police shooting". ABC News.
  18. ^ Lim, Clarissa-Jan (July 1, 2022). "A Black Man Was Killed By Police After He Was Struck By More Than 60 Bullets, His Family's Lawyer Said". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Tucker, Emma (July 10, 2022). "Why did Ohio officers handcuff Jayland Walker after shooting him dozens of times?". CNN. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 14, 2022. If a person is pronounced dead at the scene following a police shooting, officers typically are advised not to tamper with the case by touching the body – including removing handcuffs – so it can be turned over to the medical examiner's office as part of the shooting investigation ... Akron Police Department policy requires officers handcuff a suspect following all officer-involved shootings because the suspect may continue to present a threat, Mylett told affiliate WEWS of Cleveland. All restraints are left on to preserve the crime scene, the chief said. But the chief conceded the policy needs to be reviewed.
  20. ^ Marotta, Eric; Marshall, Abbey (July 1, 2022). "Akron police shot Jayland Walker at least 60 times: Attorney describes body-camera footage". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Bella, Timothy (July 1, 2022). "After a Black man is killed by police, a city cancels its July Fourth celebration". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  22. ^ Sgueglia, Kristina; Jimenez, Omar; Reilly, Liam (July 15, 2022). "Autopsy shows 46 entrance wounds or graze injuries to Jayland Walker, medical examiner says". CNN. Archived from the original on July 16, 2022. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  23. ^ Pinckard, Cliff. "Akron police reinstate 8 officers who fatally shot Jayland Walker following chase". Cleveland.com. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  24. ^ Levenson, Eric; Andone, Dakin; Sandoval, Polo (April 17, 2023). "Grand jury declines to indict Akron police officers in killing of Jayland Walker". CNN. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  25. ^ Coan, Shannon (July 5, 2022). "Protesters across the country rally after Akron police shooting of Jayland Walker". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  26. ^ Naquin, Talia (July 4, 2022). "City of Akron issues curfew, cancels fireworks". WKBN.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  27. ^ Haidet, Ryan; Lai, Lynna (July 18, 2022). "Jayland Walker police shooting: City of Akron announces plan for citizen review board, to stop daily press updates". WKYC Studios. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  28. ^ "City OKs added police oversight after Jayland Walker's death". Associated Press. November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  29. ^ No criminal charges for 8 Ohio officers who fatally shot Jayland Walker, grand jury decides usatoday.com Retrieved April 18, 2023
  30. ^ Windows broken at several Akeon businesses Wednesday night news5cleveland.com Retrieved April 20, 2023

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