Akron Declares State of Emergency Following Police Shooting
The logic of tearing one's town apart after a bad police shooting isn't great. On the other hand, the cost of having police screw up isn't insignificant. Perhaps Akron might want to consider spending a few more bucks weeding out bad cops and training the rest to avoid this kind of crap? The 99% of cops who do a great job could use the help!
On the other hand, in a typical year there are 10 million arrest across the US. Last year 9 unarmed blacks where shot by cops. 19 whites were. White cops are statistically less likely to shoot a black suspect that black or hispanic officers.
Akron Declares State of Emergency Following Police Shooting of Jayland Walker
Mayor sets 9 p.m. curfew after protests over fatal shooting of unarmed Black man, who was found with 60 wounds
Authorities said 25-year-old Jayland Walker was unarmed at the time of the shooting, police involved said they believed he was moving into a firing position.
By Douglas Belkin, WSJ
July 4, 2022 1:30 pm ET
The mayor of Akron, Ohio, declared a state of emergency on Monday and issued a curfew starting at 9 p.m. after protesters damaged property amid protests over the fatal police shooting of a 25-year-old Black man.
The protests came after the release on Sunday of body-camera videos that appear to show multiple police officers firing dozens of times at Jayland Walker, who was unarmed, the morning of June 27. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said a lot of rounds were fired and investigators are trying to determine exactly how many.
Mayor Daniel Horrigan said he issued the curfew after protesters broke windows in downtown Akron and caused significant property damage.
A city resolution accompanying the order says there is “credible cause to believe that further threats of unrest and violence exist.”
Mr. Horrigan said Akron “cannot and will not tolerate violence or the destruction of property.”
The order covers downtown Akron and extends until 6 a.m. Tuesday. Anyone in violation of the order can be fined up to $350.
The mayor previously canceled a July Fourth fireworks celebration planned for Monday night.
A medical examiner’s report found at least 60 wounds to Mr. Walker’s body, Chief Mylett said Sunday, though it was unclear how many of those wounds account for bullet entry and exit wounds.
The eight officers who fired their guns have been placed on paid administrative leave, the chief said.
Several hundred protesters marched through Akron on Sunday afternoon amid a large police presence. Marchers carried handwritten signs calling for justice for Mr. Walker.
The June 27 incident started, according to the police, when Mr. Walker fled an attempted stop for an undisclosed traffic and equipment violation. Video shows an officer reporting that Mr. Walker’s silver Buick sped away from police. A few minutes later, the officer reported a suspected gunshot coming from the driver’s-side window of Mr. Walker’s car.
Several minutes into the pursuit, Mr. Walker’s car slowed down and he exited from the passenger seat, while apparently wearing a ski mask. Several officers chased him on foot, and at least one officer tried to subdue him with a Taser stun gun, before eight officers fired dozens of shots in about eight seconds.
The shooting halted after at least one officer shouted “cease fire” and police moved closer to Mr. Walker’s body.
Chief Mylett said officers tried to render first aid and at one point were moving Mr. Walker to a police cruiser to drive him to a hospital. Fire department officials arrived at that time, he said, and Mr. Walker was declared dead at the scene.
Mr. Walker was unarmed when he was shot, Chief Mylett said. He also said a gun and a loaded magazine were found on the driver’s seat of the vehicle and a spent shell casing was found near the scene where the initial gunshot was fired, though investigators haven’t yet confirmed that it was fired by the gun found in Mr. Walker’s car.
Chief Mylett said while Mr. Walker’s movements are hard to distinguish in the video, a still photo appears to show him “going to his waist area,” while another appears to show him turning toward an officer and a third “captures a forward motion of his arm.”
Bobby DiCello, a lawyer for the Walker family, disputed the police version of events.
“He made absolutely no movement to the waist or belt area,” Mr. DiCello said, describing a police video he and the Walker family were shown earlier this week, portions of which he said weren’t released Sunday.
Mr. DiCello said that in the video it appeared Mr. Walker turned slightly toward the pursuing officers before being shot, but he posed no threat.
“Jayland was running from police without a weapon,” Mr. DiCello said. “And that is absolutely 100% the most important fact of this case. The facts are there is no way my client pointed a gun at anybody.”
Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this article.