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Video shows Ohio police killing Black man

July 4, 2022

Authorities said the officers believed the man had shot at them earlier from a vehicle and feared he was preparing to fire again.

Demonstrators protest against the Akron police shooting death of Black man Jayland Walker in Akron
Jayland Walker's shooting was the latest in a spate of killings of Black people by law enforcement in the United StatesImage: Gaelen Morse/REUTERS

A video released on Sunday showed eight police officers were involved in a shooting that killed a Black man in the city of Akron, Ohio.  

Akron police released the video showing the pursuit and killing of 25-year-old Jayland Walker.

Authorities said the officers believed Walker had shot at them earlier from a vehicle and feared he was preparing to fire again.

It was not yet clear how many shots were fired by the officers who were involved in the shooting, but police chief Steve Mylett said the medical examiner's report indicated there had been "over 60 wounds to Mr. Walker's body."

Video sparks protests

Demonstrators marched through Akron and gathered in front of the city's justice center after the video was released.

Derrick Johnson, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a civil rights organization, said in a statement that Walker's death "was murder. Point blank.''

The mayor called the shooting "heartbreaking'' while pleading for peace and patience from the community.

What did the videos show?

Police played multiple videos at a news conference on Sunday.

They said one of them shows a gunshot being fired from the car driven by Walker.

He fled in his car after officers attempted to pull him over for a minor traffic violation.

After a chase lasting several minutes, Walker jumped out of the car and ran away from police, the footage showed.

Police say it appears he was turning toward officers, who at the time believed he was armed. A gun was later recovered from his car.

How did the family's attorney react?

Bobby DiCello, the attorney for the Walker family, said that he was "very concerned" about the police's allegation that Walker had fired at officers from his car.

The lawyer stressed that there was no justification for his violent death.

"They want to turn him into a masked monster with a gun," DiCello said. "I ask you, as he's running away, what is reasonable? To gun him down? No, that's not reasonable."

DiCello urged the public to be peaceful in their protests of Walker's killing, adding that it was the wish of Walker's family to avoid more violence.

Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation is carrying out a probe into Walker's death.

Killings put spotlight on police brutality and racial injustice

The shooting was the latest in a spate of killings of Black men and women by law enforcement in the United States.

Critics say they are racist and unjustified, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

That incident ignited global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

sri/jsi (AP, Reuters, AFP)