Jayland Walker, 25, was shot many times, according to Chief of Police Stephen Mylett of Akron. However, Mylett pointed out that Walker’s body had more than 60 wounds, according to the medical examiner’s report.
The video, which was pixelated to hide Walker, was described as “shocking” and “tough to watch” by the police chief. He stated that he would wait judgment until speaking with the involved police. According to the evidence, Walker had fired a gun during the pursuit, Mylett stated.
“An officer has to be ready to justify why they did what they did, and they need to be able to define the precise threats they were facing, when they make the most important decision of their career as a police officer, when they fire an arm at another human being,” he said. And it holds true for every bullet that leaves their rifle. And they must be held accountable.
In anticipation of the findings of investigations by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Akron Police Office of Professional Standards and Accountability, eight of the shooting’s participants have been placed on paid leave.
Police tried to stop Walker’s Buick about 12:30 a.m. June 27 for investigation of an unspecified traffic violation and chased him when he did not pull over, the Akron Police Department said. Shortly after an officer said he heard a gunshot come from the Buick, Walker jumped out of the car and ran into a parking lot, with officers following — and eventually firing.
Walker was pronounced dead in the parking lot. Among the images police displayed Sunday were those of a gun that they said they found in his car, beside a loaded magazine.
An attorney for his family, Bobby DiCello, told The Washington Post over the weekend that eight officers fired more than 90 rounds at Walker, with more than 60 striking him.
“It was absolutely excessive,” the attorney said during a news conference after the video’s release.
DiCello noted that footage after the shooting wasn’t shown in the presentation. He said shots continued after Walker was on the ground.
“We know that they then handcuff him and roll him on his back and then they begin to apply some sort of attempt at lifesaving measures, which after 60-plus wounds and 90-plus bullets makes for a hopeless cause,” DiCello said.
“The way the law required, indeed, the way we are all required, to look at this is through the eyes of a reasonable police officer as it’s happening,” DiCello said. “I ask you, as he’s running away, what is reasonable? To gun him down? No, that’s not reasonable.”
Ken Abbarno, another attorney for the Walker family, said Walker should be remembered for “his smile, who he was, how he interacted with his family.”
The body-camera footage shown at the presentation Sunday was a video from the first officer who was involved in the pursuit. After the presentation, Akron police released body-camera footage from 13 officers involved — eight who fired and five “witness officers,” according to Lt. Michael Miller, a spokesman.
Of the eight officers who fired, seven were White and one was Black, according to data the police department gave to news media. None of the officers had received disciplinary action or substantiated complaints, and this was the first fatal shooting for each.