Several Akron, Ohio police officers have been placed on leave pending an investigation into the shooting death of Jayland Walker on Monday. Autopsy reports state that police fired more than 90 shots at him following a chase from a routine traffic stop on early Monday morning. The city prepares for ‘backlash’ when Akron Police will release body camera footage in the coming days.
Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler has ruled Walker’s death a homicide.
Akron police say they attempted to stop Walker’s car just after midnight Monday for a traffic infraction and equipment issue. Walker instead led the officers on a high-speed chase.
At some point, police say Walker fired a gun. Sources tell 3News Investigates that one casing was found in Walker’s car and a second was found on the roadway near Route 8.
Police claim they first tried to tase the victim when he abandoned his car and ran from the officers but since they also claim they feared for their lives, they opened fire on Walker instead, even firing while his body laid on the pavement. Officers did find a gun in Walker’s car but it’s unclear if he did, indeed, fire at officers. Captain Dave Laughlin, of the Akron Police Department claimed officers didn’t see a weapon but heard a gunshot or multiple gunshots from the car on the entrance ramp of Route 8.
It’s also unclear why Walker ran from the police since he has no criminal background.
Seven of the eight officers are white. Walker is Black.
On Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Steven Mylett and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan released a joint statement about the shooting:
“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. Every single life is precious, and the loss of any life is absolutely devastating to our entire community. 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.
So far, the faux Christian Right, AKA American Taliban have not ruled if this was a ‘good shoot’ or not.