What we know about the police shooting that killed Jayland Walker

What we know about the police shooting that killed Jayland Walker

() — The city of Akron, Ohio, was on edge on July 4, a week after 25-year-old Jayland Walker was shot dead by police.

A news conference by city officials this Sunday, along with the publication of 13 police body camera videosbegan to paint a more complete picture of the shooting, which police say occurred when Walker, a black man, fled an attempted traffic stop early June 27.

Walker was unarmed at the time of his death, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett told reporters. A gun was found in Walker’s vehicle after the shooting, police said, and officers said Walker fired a gun from his vehicle during the pursuit.

Body camera video shows eight police officers shooting Jayland Walker 1:40

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan declared a state of emergency and issued a curfew for Monday night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement on the city’s website, “to preserve peace in our community.” A fireworks show planned for the 4th of July was cancelled.

Sunday’s protests began peacefully, but that changed after night fell, Horrigan said in a statement, adding that there was “significant property damage in downtown Akron.”

Police said they arrested around 50 people after dozens of protesters failed to disperse from the city center.

A man gestures toward soldiers in riot gear as police deploy tear gas and stun grenades to clear the area around Akron City Hall and the Akron Police Station during a protest over the killing of Jayland Walker, shot by the police, in Akron, Ohio, on July 3. 2022. (Credit: MATTHEW HATCHER/AFP via Getty Images)

While most of the protest was peaceful, a group of “violent protesters” caused substantial property damage to nearby businesses, restaurants and residential structures, breaking windows and starting small fires, according to a statement from the Akron Police Department.

Police initially provided verbal instructions to protesters, offering “a reasonable amount of time to comply,” the statement said, but then deployed a “chemical irritant to prevent further disturbance and property damage.”

Many questions about Walker’s death remain unanswered, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting an investigation, but here’s a breakdown of what we know so far.

Ohio Police Killed Black Man, Who Received At Least 60 Gunshot Wounds 1:57

What the police say happened

Jayland Walker was killed in a flurry of gunfire early Monday, following a vehicle chase and foot chase that began when officers tried to pull him over for traffic and equipment violations.

Walker fled the stop, according to a narrated video police played at the news conference Sunday, and officers gave chase.

About 40 seconds after the pursuit began, the narrated video says “a sound consistent with a gunshot can be heard” based on body camera footage, with officers telling dispatch that a shot had been fired from the Walker’s vehicle. Police also showed still images taken from traffic cameras showing “a flash of light” – perhaps a flash – along the driver’s side of the car.

“That changes the whole nature” of the incident, Mylett said, turning a “routine traffic stop” into a “public safety issue.”

After several minutes, Walker’s vehicle slowed and he got out of the vehicle and ran, police said. Several police officers got out of their patrol cars and gave chase, and officers deployed Tasers in an effort to stop him, police said, but were unsuccessful.

Moments later, police said, Walker “stopped and quickly turned toward the pursuing officers.” Mylett told reporters that officers believed Walker was bringing his hand to his waistband and “felt that the Walker had turned and was gesturing and moving into a firing position,” Mylett said, and officers opened fire and they killed him.

Soldiers in riot gear watch as protesters gather outside Akron City Hall to protest the murder of Jayland Walker, shot by police, in Akron, Ohio, on July 3, 2022. (Credit: MATTHEW HATCHER/AFP via Getty Images)

Jayland Walker had 60 gunshot wounds

A medical examiner’s report found that Walker suffered at least 60 injuries as a result of the gunshots, Mylett said Sunday, though the medical examiner is still working to determine which are entry wounds and which are exit wounds. The BCI will determine exactly how many times Walker was shot, Mylett said.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear how many rounds were fired, though Mylett said he anticipates “that number will be high” based on the videos, in which dozens of shots are heard over seven seconds.

“A lot of rounds were fired,” Mylett said.

8 police officers were placed on administrative leave

Eight police officers were “directly involved” in the shooting, Mylett said, and all were placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, according to department protocol.

According to information released by the city, seven of the eight officers are white and one is black.

Officers are “fully cooperating” with the investigation, the Akron Police Union said in a statement, adding that it believes the investigation will determine that the officers’ use of force was justified, including the number of rounds they shot.

“The decision to deploy deadly force, as well as the number of shots fired, is consistent with use-of-force protocols and officer training,” Akron Lodge Fraternal Order of Police 7 said in a statement.

Protesters hold “Justice for Jayland” signs as they gather outside Akron City Hall to protest the murder of Jayland Walker, shot by police, in Akron, Ohio, on July 3, 2022. (Credit: MATTHEW HATCHER/AFP via Getty Images)

What the video of the shooting against Walker shows

On Sunday, police released 13 videos from police body cameras — eight of the officers directly involved in the shooting and another five of the officers who were at the scene.

The videos were released in accordance with a new city ordinance that requires video footage documenting the use of force by an active police officer to be released within seven days of the incident.

Towards the end of the chase, some of the footage shows the silver car Walker was driving coming to a stop before starting to exit the driver’s side of the vehicle.

At least one officer yells “let me see your hands,” telling him not to move. The video shows Jayland Walker getting back into the car, which is slowly moving forward. He is then seen exiting the passenger side door and running from the officers.

At least one officer again yells at Walker to show his hands, video shows. The foot chase continued for several seconds, before a series of gunshots rang out for seven seconds.

The videos end just after the shooting and do not show the police officers’ efforts to provide medical care, although police say they did attempt first aid after the shooting.

They were unsuccessful and Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Walker was full of life, says relative

Walker’s family wants answers from police officers, his lawyers said at their own news conference Sunday, but they also called for any protests in response to Walker’s killing to be peaceful to honor his memory.

Walker had “never broken the law a day in his life, any crime of any kind,” said Bobby Dicello, one of the attorneys.

Robert Dejournett, a relative of Walker and a local pastor, said the 25-year-old was a prankster and fun-loving young man that everyone adored.

“We’re God-fearing people who believe in God and we want to exemplify that even in this process,” Dejournett told , “we don’t want riots or anything like that.”

“Personally, I want to scream and get mad,” the pastor said, “but what’s that going to do?”

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