After Jayland Walker was shot lifeless by police, July 4 was canceled in Akron, Ohio

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Days after a black man was killed by police officers who allegedly fired nearly 100 rounds during a chase that began at a car stop, officials in Akron, Ohio, announced that the 4th of July celebration has been canceled due to a fatal shooting that rocked the city this week.

Police attempted to tow Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old DoorDash driver, for a traffic violation early Monday, authorities said. The Akron Police Department said during the pursuit, Walker fired a gun from outside the vehicle – a claim Walker’s family has denied. According to authorities, as he continued to drive away from police, Walker jumped out of his car and was chased by officers. Bobby DiCello, one of the family’s attorneys, told The Washington Post.

“The suspect’s actions led officers to perceive that he posed a death threat to them,” police said in a press release. “In response to this threat, officers opened fire and attacked the suspect.”

Walker is presumed dead in the parking lot where he was shot.

Autopsy records show eight officers fired more than 90 shots at Walker, with more than 60 shots hitting his body, DiCello told The Post. The account has been verified by WKYCthe first to report on the number of shots fired.

“There were wounds on all sides and parts of his body,” DiCello said.

According to Akron police, eight officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of an investigation from the Ohio Department of Criminal Investigation. Details surrounding the number of shots fired by police have yet to be released by authorities. The officers have yet to be identified.

According to police, a weapon was recovered from inside Walker’s car. DiCello said there was no evidence that a gun was in the vehicle or that a gun was fired at an officer.

The murder has sparked protests and calls for accountability from Walker’s family and residents angered by the third fatal police shooting in the northeastern Ohio city since late December. Akron Police announced Friday that body camera footage of the shooting will be released Sunday afternoon.

The explosion prompted Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan (D), who called the killing “a dark day for our city,” to announce that the city’s 4th of July celebration had been cancelled. The Ribs, White & Blue Festival scheduled to begin on Friday in downtown Akron and end on Monday on Independence Day. According to the city, the downtown area where the festival will take place will have no activity or entertainment over the weekend.

“I fully understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this weekend. Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and gathering time with friends and family,” Horrigan said in a press release Thursday. “Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration.”

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to The Post that Walker’s death has been classified as homicide. Walker died from multiple gunshot wounds to his face, abdomen and upper leg, according to Akron signaling magazine. Denice DiNapoli, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s body, told The Post that the homicide classification “refers to the medical term for death at the hands of another and is not a legal conclusion.”

“As with all investigations, the goal of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office is to be able to provide an accurate assessment of the injuries Mr. Walker sustained,” DiNapoli said.

The autopsy report is expected to be released next week.

More than 1,040 people was shot dead by police last year, according to data tracked by The Post. Although half of those people are white, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of whites. Hispanics are also killed at a disproportionate rate by the police.

1,042 people have been shot dead by police in the past year

DiCello said that before joining DoorDash, Walker worked for Amazon. DiCello told The Post.

Authorities said the incident began around 12:30 a.m. Monday. When Walker got out of a moving vehicle in a pursuit that lasted several minutes, police said, he arrived in the parking lot of the Bridgestone Center for American Research and Technology.

After Walker was shot, police said, officers were “immediately summoned to EMS as they began administering first aid until paramedics arrived.”

Once the state investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for further consideration before being presented to a Summit County grand jury for review, police said.

Protesters gathered outside Akron Police Department offices on Thursday and blocked traffic to demand “Justice for Jayland.” DiCello told The Post that the family had appealed to protesters to be peaceful over the holiday weekend, including when body-cam footage was released on Sunday.

“We are very concerned that this video will set Akron on fire and we do not want that. No one wants that,” the lawyer said. “It’s all about peace, dignity and justice for Jayland.”

His family said Walker was a sweet man and never caused trouble. Relatives expressed their grief in press conferences and interviews with local media, saying they were “angry” and “sick” at a murder they said was not must happen.

His mother, Pamela Walker, left a question for WKYC: “Why?”

“Why did this happen in such a way, in such a terrible, terrible way?” she asked.

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