Several hundred protesters poured into the streets of Akron, Ohio on Sunday to demonstrate against yet another police shooting of a black man. Body camera footage showed police fatally shooting the victim with several dozen rounds of bullets.
The man identified in the video was Jayland Walker, 25, who was killed last week after officers attempted to pull him over for a traffic violation, police said.
As anger rose over the latest police killing of a Black man in the United States and authorities appealed for calm, a crowd marched to City Hall carrying banners with slogans such as “Justice for Jayland.”
Sunday marked the fourth straight day of protests. After the first rally, a crowd of people remained in the street protesting.
Demonstrations were peaceful aside from a moment of tension during which certain protesters got close to a line of police and shouted at them.
Fearing potential unrest, authorities in the city totaling 190,000 people moved snowplows and other heavy equipment near the police department to serve as a barrier.
Initially, Akron authorities released two videos on Sunday. One was a compilation of body-camera footage, body-cam still frames, and voiceover, and another was of the complete body-cam footage of the entire chase and shooting, which provided few details of the shooting.
Video portrays shooting of Black man in Akron, Ohio
The voiceover explained that Walker did not pull over as prompted by cops but instead drove off. Police engaged in a car chase and said a shot had been fired from Walker’s vehicle.
After being chased for several minutes, Walker exited his vehicle, which was still moving, and fled on foot. Officers tried to subdue him with their tasers, but he kept running.
Several officers finally chased Walker to a parking lot. The body-cam footage is too blurry to clearly make out what happened, but an initial police statement released after the shooting says he behaved in a way that caused officers to believe he posed a “deadly threat.”
All officers at the scene opened fire on Walker, shooting multiple times in rapid succession. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Video footage clearly indicated the involvement of eight officers in the shooting.
Police chief Steve Mylett said he was unaware of the exact number of bullets fired at Walker, but the medical examiner’s report “indicates over 60 wounds to Mr. Walker’s body.”
He added that the eight officers involved in Walker’s death have been placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
Police brutality on Black men in the US
In a press conference, Akron mayor Dan Horrigan said he was “heartbroken” over the events.
“Many will wish to air their grievances in public, and I fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble, but I hope the community can agree that violence and destruction are not the answer,” he said.
Due to protests, an Akron festival planned for the July 4th weekend has been canceled by authorities.
LeBron James, a basketball star and an Akron native, said in a tweet on Sunday that he was praying for his city.