Akron Ohio Grand Jury Declines to Indict Eight Police Officers in Lethal Force Shooting
Akron police officers who shot unarmed black man Jayland Walker after a car and foot chase last year have not been indicted by a special grand jury, which concluded they were legally justified in using lethal force, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said on Monday.
Officers were pursuing Walker after he fled a traffic stop, when he turned toward them while running and began motioning toward his waistband, authorities say. Mistakingnly believing he was reaching for weapons, they opened fire. Walker was shot 46 times including in his back. According to an autopsy report prepared by Summit County medical examiner Lisa Kohler, one officer fired the final shot because of perceived threats in Walker’s vehicle – gun was later recovered there.
An investigation by both Akron city government and Ohio state has begun into whether any officers violated department or city rules during the shooting, which resulted in protests over police killing unarmed black people and an increase of fatal encounters between white suspects and police officers. Mayor Dan Horrigan encouraged residents to remain peaceful as more demonstrations may take place;
At a press conference held Sunday afternoon, police released body camera footage showing their pursuit and shooting of Walker, 25. Narration indicates that 40 seconds into the car chase a sound consistent with gunfire was heard; officers reported this information to dispatchers before opening fire on him as he fled away – striking more than 60 times before they killed him.
The officers involved in the shooting have served a combined 75 years on the force, from 29-50 years old, mostly white, with one being at just over one year and others between two and six. None have any history of discipline, substantiated complaints, or fatal shootings.
Predicting the outcome of this case would be premature and misleading, yet we must avoid prejudging its outcomes prematurely. Therefore, a comprehensive investigation must take place which includes hearing from witnesses, reviewing hundreds of images, video and audio recordings as well as thousands of documents including interviews, mobile phone records and social media posts from Akron police officials as well as across the country in regards to practices which lead to unarmed Black suspects being killed more often by law enforcement than their white counterparts. We must also conduct some serious soul searching by law enforcement officials both locally as well as nationally regarding practices which lead to unarmed Black suspects being killed more often by police than their white counterparts.
Anna Huntsman from WOIO contributed to this story. You can follow WOIO on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates!
BARBERTON, Ohio (WOIO) – On Tuesday evening in Barberton, one person was shot in the back. Police responded to a home on Packard Drive 1100 after hearing reports of shots being fired; upon their arrival they observed someone lying unconscious near Ohio and Erie Canal.