Police in Akron, Ohio, have released disturbing full-body camera footage that shows the moment police officers shot an unarmed 25-year-old black man dozens of times as he fled.
“I won’t deny the word, the video you’re about to see is heartbreaking,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan warned at a news conference Sunday. “I urge all of our residents to please reserve your full judgment until our investigation is complete.”
The body-cam videos begin with officers pursuing Jayland Walker in their team’s vehicle around 12:30 a.m. Monday after he refused to stop the vehicle for an alleged traffic violation. About 40 seconds after he fled, officers reported “the sound of a gunshot” coming from his car door and a camera recording “a flash of light” from the driver, police said. , turning the chase into “a public safety issue. “
The car chase lasted a few more minutes before Walker, wearing a ski mask, exited his silver Buick through the passenger side door and went for a run. Police said officers attempted to arrest him on the mission unsuccessfully and the chase continued to a nearby parking lot.
There, Walker “rapidly turned toward the pursuing officers,” and eight officers opened fire on him, police said. Unpleasant footage shows Walker rapidly collapsing to the ground as countless shots are fired.
Sheriff Stephen Mylett on Sunday confirmed that Walker was “unarmed” when he was killed. Police found a handgun, a loaded magazine and a gold ring on the driver’s seat of his car.
Mylett admits that the dark, grainy footage makes it a bit difficult to pinpoint Walker’s exact movements but says he thinks one photo shows him “going down to his waistline,” while he She seems to be coming back in another picture.
“Each officer was independent of the other in relation to the other that they felt that Mr. Walker had turned his head and was gesturing and moving into firing position,” he said.
Walker was still pounding when officers tried to get him into the police car, Mylett added. He could not say how many bullets were fired, but Walker had at least 60 wounds on his body.
Acknowledging how gruesome the footage was, Horrigan urged residents to protest peacefully.
“I fully support the right of our residents to assemble peacefully,” the mayor said at the news conference. “But I hope the community can agree that violence and destruction are not the answer.”
Protests began almost immediately after the video was released, with hundreds of protesters gathering across Akron to condemn the ministry’s actions.
Since Walker was killed June 27, the eight Akron police officers involved have been placed on paid leave and the city canceled the festivities on July 4. Protesters have besieged buildings during the day. city, demanding justice and releasing the camera footage.
Attorneys for the Walker family said they were not satisfied with the way police presented the videos on Sunday, insisting he was portrayed as a villain in their description of the footage. Bobby DiCello, the lead attorney representing the family, said Mylett is an “armchair quarterback”, using “snapshots” when he selects the shots.
“They wanted to turn him into a masked monster with a gun,” DiCello said.
His colleague, Ken Abbarno, echoed that sentiment, calling on police to be more transparent with what happened during the pursuit of Walker.
“Officers will need to be held accountable for every action they take,” Abbarno said. “We live in a society where we can never see this happen again.”
DiCello said he died after being shot nearly 100 times and that they asked police to take witness statements from officers involved in the shooting. The officers have not been named.
“The Walker family is praying for peace, they’re begging for peace, they’re begging for accountability,” Abbarno said after the footage was released Sunday afternoon. “We can’t demonize Jayland.”
Another lawyer, Paige White, said: “We are going to die like this. “No one should suffer the same fate as Jayland Walker did.”