Ohio man shot was unarmed when officers shot him: police


A video released Sunday showed eight police officers in Akron, Ohio, involved in a shooting that killed an unarmed black man whose body was found with about 60 gunshot wounds after he fled a traffic stop last week.

Police played several videos at a news conference, one of which they said shows a shot from the car driven by 25-year-old Jayland Walker. He fled in his car after officers attempted to pull him over for a minor traffic violation.

After a chase that lasted several minutes, Walker jumped out of the car and fled from police, video showed. Police say it appears he was turning toward officers, who at the time believed he was armed. He later recovered a gun from his car.

The Walker family’s attorney, Bobby DiCello, told reporters Sunday that he was “very concerned” by the police allegation that Walker had fired at officers from his car and stressed there was no justification for his violent death.

“They want to turn him into a masked monster with a gun,” DiCello said. “I’m asking you, while he’s running away, what’s reasonable? Shoot him down? No, that’s not reasonable.”

DiCello urged the public to be peaceful in their protests over Walker’s murder, adding that it was the wish of the Walker family to avoid further violence.

The shooting was the latest in a string of killings of black men and women by law enforcement in the United States that critics say are racist and unjustified, including the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

On Sunday afternoon, the Akron NAACP led a peaceful protest at City Hall. Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of the city of some 200,000 people, waving “Black Lives Matter” flags and chanting “We’re done dying!” and “Justice for Jayland!”

It was unclear how many bullets hit Walker, but body camera video shows police shooting him dozens of times.

The medical examiner is still determining how many of the 60 wounds were entry and exit wounds, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said.

Mylett said officers had tried to administer first aid to Walker after he was shot, but pronounced him dead at the scene.

The eight officers directly involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, Mylett said, and have not made any individual statements.

Those officers said they had believed Walker was “moving into firing position” when he got out of his car, leading them to react to him as a potential threat, Mylett said.

Pressed by reporters for evidence that Walker had fired a gun from his car, Mylett said police had returned to the area where they believe Walker had fired from his car after the incident and found a shell casing “consistent with a firearm that Mr. Walker had.” in his vehicle.”

Police also pointed to what appears to be a flash of light on the driver’s side of Walker’s car in the video, which they said is a flash of lightning.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting and has not confirmed any of these details.

(Reporting by Gaelen Morse in Akron, Ohio, and Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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