A video released on Sunday shows eight Akron, Ohio, police officers participating in a shooting that killed an unarmed Black man whose body was discovered with 60 bullet wounds after fleeing a traffic check last week.
At a press conference, police exhibited several recordings, one of which they said showed a gunshot fired from the automobile driven by Jayland Walker, 25. After cops attempted to pull him over for a minor traffic violation, he escaped in his automobile.
Walker stepped out of the car and escaped from police after a brief chase, according to the footage. According to police, he seemed to be turning toward cops, who suspected he was armed at the moment. A gun was later found in his vehicle.
Bobby DiCello, the Walker family’s attorney, told reporters on Sunday that he was “very concerned” by the police charge that Walker fired at policemen from his car, and that there was no reason for his horrific murder.
“They want to turn him into a masked monster with a gun,” DiCello explained. “What is rational, I ask you, as he flees? To shoot him? That is not reasonable.”
DiCello asked the people to stay calm in their rallies against Walker’s death, saying that it was Walker’s family’s intention to avoid more bloodshed.
The shooting was the latest in a string of racist and unjustifiable police shootings of Black men and women in the United States, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
The Akron NAACP staged a peaceful demonstration at city hall on Sunday. Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of the 200,000-person city, holding “Black Lives Matter” flags and yelling, “We are done dying,” and “Justice for Jayland.”
According to media reports, authorities later deemed a protest outside Akron police headquarters an unlawful assembly. Officers in riot gear shot roughly a dozen tear gas canisters to disperse demonstrators, according to WKYC-TV.
Police in Akron did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
It was unclear how many shots injured Walker, but body camera footage shows cops firing a large number of rounds at him.
According to Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett, the medical examiner is currently assessing how many of the 60 wounds were entrance versus exit wounds.
Officers attempted to give Walker first aid when he was shot, according to Mylett, but he was pronounced dead at the site.
According to Mylett, the eight cops immediately engaged in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave and have not made any individual remarks.
According to Mylett, the cops felt Walker was “moving into firing position” as he stepped out of his car, causing them to react to him as a possible danger.
When reporters pressed Mylett for evidence that Walker shot a pistol from his car, he said officers returned to the location where they suspect Walker fired from his car after the event and discovered a bullet shell “consistent with a firearm that Mr. Walker had in his vehicle.”
In the footage, police also pointed out what seems to be a burst of light on the driver’s side of Walker’s car, which they claimed was a muzzle flash.
None of these claims have been validated by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is probing the incident.