Jayland was running from police without a weapon and that is absolutely 100% the most important fact of this case.Bobby DiCello, a lawyer representing the case of Jayland Walker, who was shot and killed by police on June 27 in Ohio. Officers on the scene reported that they believed there was “an immediate threat of serious harm.” An investigation is underway.
- Officers attempted to stop Jayland Walker, a Black man from Akron, Ohio, when he violated unspecified traffic regulations. Recently released police body camera videos show officers chasing Walker on foot and firing gunshots "from multiple directions." Officers have stated they believed Walker had a weapon on his person, though the family's lawyers have stated he did not; a handgun was found on the seat of the car from which he had fled. The medical examiner's report found that Walker had at least 60 wounds.
- An investigation is ongoing; the Akron police chief stated that officers who fire their gun at someone must be “ready to explain why they did what they did, they need to be able to articulate what specific threats they were facing … and they need to be held to account.” Ohio State Attorney General Dave Yost cautioned that “body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture" (AP).
- Following the incident, local protests emerged. After multiple days of peaceful protesting, escalated tension and property damage prompted Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan to declare a state of emergency and order a 9 p.m. curfew on Monday (July 4) for the downtown area. The mayor stated that Akron “cannot and will not tolerate violence or the destruction of property.”
- Why It Matters: Many questions remain regarding Jayland Walker's case, though newly-released body cam footage will help the investigators better understand what unfolded. In the meantime, the eight police officers who were directly involved have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is typical police protocol in situations such as this.
Video shows Akron police kill Black man in hail of gunfire (Associated Press)
Akron Declares State of Emergency Following Police Shooting of Jayland Walker (Wall Street Journal)
by Jenna Lee,