The city of Akron, Ohio, is approaching July 4, a week after police shot and killed 25-year-old Jayland Walker.
A press conference by city officials on Sunday, along with the release of 13 police body camera videosbegan painting a more complete picture of the shooting, which police say occurred when Walker, who is black, fled a stationary stop early on June 27.
Akron Sheriff Stephen Mylett told reporters Walker was unarmed at the time he was killed. Police said a gun was found in Walker’s car after the shooting, and officers said Walker fired a gun from his vehicle during the car chase.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan declared a state of emergency and issued a curfew on Monday night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday. according to a statement on the city’s website, “To keep the peace in our community.” The fireworks show scheduled for July 4 has been cancelled.
The protests began on Sunday peacefully, but that changed after nightfall, Horrigan said.
Police said they arrested about 50 people after dozens of protesters failed to disperse from the downtown area.
While the majority was peaceful, a group of “violent protesters” caused significant property damage to nearby businesses, restaurants and residential areas, breaking windows and lighting up buildings. small fire, according to a news release from the Akron Police Department.
Police initially provided verbal instructions to protesters, giving “a reasonable period of time to comply”, according to the release, but later deployed “chemical stimulants to prevent continued riots and property damage.”
Many questions about Walker’s death remain unanswered and an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigation is underway, but here’s a breakdown of what we know so far.
Walker was killed in a volley of gunfire early last Monday, after a vehicle chase and foot chase began when officers tried to stop him for a traffic and equipment violation.
Walker fled the stop, according to a video timeline police broadcast at Sunday’s press conference, and officers gave chase.
About 40 seconds after the start of the chase, video narration said “a sound consistent with a gunshot could be heard” in the camera footage and officers told the delegation that a gunshot had been heard. fired from Walker’s car. Police also showed still images taken from traffic cameras showing “a flash of light” – presumably a bolt of lightning in the muzzle – along the driver’s side.
“That changes the whole nature of the incident, turning a ‘regular traffic stop’ into a ‘public safety issue’,” Mylett said.
After a few minutes, Walker’s car slowed and he got out of the car and ran, police said. Several officers got out of their patrol cars and chased him, and officers launched a Mission to stop him, police said, without success, police said.
Moments later, police said, Walker “stopped and quickly turned toward the pursuing officers.” The officers believed Walker was reaching toward his waist, Mylett told reporters, and they “felt that Mr. Walker had turned and was gesturing and entering the firing position,” Mylett said, and the The police opened fire, killing him.
Mylett said Sunday a medical examiner’s report found Walker suffered at least 60 injuries as a result of the shooting, although the medical examiner is still working to determine what injuries are. in the head and where is the wound at the exit. The BCI will determine exactly how many times Walker was shot, Mylett said.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear how many bullets were fired, although Mylett said he predicts “that number will be high” based on videos in which dozens of gunshots are heard in seven seconds.
“A lot of bullets were fired,” Mylett said.
Eight officers were “directly involved” in the shooting, Mylett said, and all have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, according to departmental procedures.
According to information released by the city, seven of the eight officers are white and one black.
The Akron police union said in a statement officers were “co-operating fully” with the investigation, adding that the investigation would determine the officers’ use of force was genuine. worth – including the number of shots they fired.
“The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired was consistent with the use of force protocols and officer training,” the Akron Lodge 7 Brothers Order of Police said in a statement. Father.
Police on Sunday released 13 videos from police body cameras – eight from officers directly involved in the shooting and another five from officers at the scene.
The videos were released under a new city ordinance requiring videos of an active police officer’s use of force to be released within seven days of the incident.
At the end of the chase, some footage showed the silver car Walker was driving to a halt before he began to exit the driver’s side.
At least one officer shouted, “Let me see your hand,” and told him not to move. The video shows Walker getting back into the car, which slowly moves forward. He was then seen out of the passenger side door and running away from the officers.
At least one officer once again shouted for Walker to hold out his hand, one video showed. The foot chase continued for a few seconds, before a barrage of gunshots rang out that lasted more than seven seconds.
The videos end shortly after gunfire and do not depict the officers’ medical efforts, although police say they attempted to provide first aid after the shooting.
They were unsuccessful, and Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Walker’s family wants answers from police officials, their lawyers said at their own news conference on Sunday, but they also demand any demonstrations in response to the killings. Walker still takes place in peace in his memory.
Walker “never broke the law a single day in his life – no crime,” said Bobby Dicello, one of the attorneys.
Robert Dejournett, a relative of Walker and a local pastor, said the 25-year-old was a young man who loved good jokes and was loved by everyone.
“We are God-fearing people who believe in God and we want to prove it even in the process,” Dejournett told CNN, “we don’t want any riots or anything. similar”.
“Personally, I want to scream and go crazy,” the pastor said, “but what would that do?”