Jayland Walker, 25, was shot dead by police in Akron, Ohio, on Monday. His family’s lawyer, Bobbi DiCello, stated that he was attempting to elude police after being pulled over for a traffic violation.
Citing police body-cam footage, DiCello said that Walker did not gesture towards police in a threatening way. “There is no stopping and turning around,” DiCello said. “There’s no making his hand into the shape of a gun. There’s no holding his cellphone. He has nothing in his hands.”
DiCello also claimed that officers pursued Walker and shot him “within seconds.” DiCello said that he thinks the gunfire began at about 6 seconds into the incident. “It was an unbelievable amount of gunfire,” DiCello added.
“My beloved cousin, pray for my family,” Walker’s cousin Marcus Ferguson Tweeted. “We love Jayland,” said Lajuana Walker Dawkins, Walker’s aunt. “He was my skinny little nephew and we miss him. We just want some answers.”
The Akron Police Department confirmed that they did stop Walker for a traffic violation at 12.30am and they released a statement on the matter. “Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” the statement says. Officers opened fire and then called for medical services, however Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, the statement confirms.
The Akron Police Department confirmed that all officers involved have been placed on paid leave. The officers have not been named at this stage.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan (D) and Police Chief Steve Mylett released a joint statement on Wednesday, stating: “We know that no police officer ever wants to discharge their service weapon in the line of duty. And anytime they must, it’s a dark day for our city, for the families of those involved, as well as for the officers.”
“Tragically, we are once again faced with a young man, with his life before him, gone too soon,” they said, adding: “Our prayers are with Jayland Walker’s loved ones, and we offer our sincere condolences to all those who knew him. Our thoughts are also with our Akron police officers and their families.”
They continued by promising to release the body-cam footage and any data related to the incident “in the following days.” The statement said, “We are keeping our promise to the community, understanding that there can be no trust without transparency and follow-through on commitment.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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