Akron police post a video of officers shooting a black man dozens of times

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AKRON, Ohio – Police released images Sunday showing officers firing dozens of rounds of ammunition at a black man who left his car to flee a traffic stop last week.

Akron police chief Stephen Mylett said he did not know the exact number of rounds fired at Jayland Walker. But, Mylett added, the coroner’s report indicates more than 60 injuries to the body of the 25-year-old, whose murder has sparked outrage and demands for responsibility.

The police chief described the footage, which was blurred to obscure Walker, as “hard to see” and “shocking”. He said the trial would be reserved until the agents involved were heard. Evidence indicates Walker fired a gun from inside his vehicle during the car chase, Mylett said.

“When an officer makes the most critical decision of his life as a police officer, when he shoots an arm at another human being, he must be prepared to explain why he did what he did; they must be able to ‘articulate. what specific threats they faced, “he said. “And that goes for every round that goes down the barrel of his gun. And they have to be held accountable.”

Eight officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Police tried to stop Walker’s vehicle around 12:30 a.m. Monday to investigate an unspecified traffic violation and chased him when he didn’t stop, they said. The Akron police department said a gun was fired from the vehicle, a complaint that Walker’s family has disputed. Shortly afterwards, Walker jumped out of the car and ran to a parking lot, with officers following.

“The suspect’s actions led officers to perceive that he posed a deadly threat to them,” the police department said in a press release. “In response to this threat, officers fired their firearms and beat the suspect.”

Walker was pronounced dead in the parking lot.

A lawyer for his family, Bobby DiCello, told The Washington Post this weekend that eight officers fired more than 90 bullets at Walker, and more than 60 hit his body.

“There are wounds on all sides and parts of his body,” DiCello said.

Police said a weapon was recovered from the vehicle; DiCello said there is no evidence that he was shot at an agent.

Akron residents joined Walker’s family in demanding responsibility for his death, the third police shooting in northeastern Ohio city since December. Amidst the commotion, Mayor Daniel Horrigan (D) announced the cancellation of the Rib, White & Blue Festival scheduled for the fourth quarter of July.

“I fully understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this festive weekend,” he said in a statement. “Independence Day aims to be a celebration and a time of reunion with friends and family. Unfortunately, I strongly believe that this is not the time for a city-led celebration. “

In a joint statement ahead of Sunday’s press conference, the mayor and police chief described the shooting as “a dark day for our city, for the families of those involved, as well as for the officers.” . They added that “the loss of any life is absolutely devastating for our entire community.”

Residents held a vigil outside the police department Friday night, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. A rally is expected after the publication of the images, with protesters marching towards the City Hall.

A lone protester waited behind reporters gathered outside the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center on South Main Street in Akron on Sunday morning in anticipation of the video’s release.

Sarah Nelson, a 29-year-old white woman, had been driving for almost an hour from Cleveland. She stood quietly on the sidewalk holding a sign that said “Justice for Jayland.”

“I feel a responsibility to introduce myself,” Nelson said.

More than 1,040 people have been shot dead by police over the past year across the country, according to data from the Washington Post. Half of these people were white, but black Americans are being shot at a disproportionate rate. They make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police more than twice as many as whites.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Shammas reported from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Bella reported from Washington. Kim Bellware contributed from Chicago.

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