AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — City officials Tuesday addressed the upcoming funeral of Jayland Walker, who was killed in a police-involved shooting.
During the briefing, Mayor Dan Horrigan was asked if city leaders plan to attend Walker’s funeral services, which will be followed by a press conference.
“We don’t want to be any sort of distraction to Jayland and the mourning and the grief that his family is feeling,” said Horrigan. “Continue to know we mourn for him and continue to grieve with the family.”
Horrigan and Chief Steve Mylett last week announced they would hold daily briefings “in order to provide timely and consistent safety updates, and to more quickly relay information to both the public and the press.”
The move comes about two weeks after Walker‘s death, which sparked outrage across the country.
Since then, there have been a series of events in Akron involving police and protesters.
Day of Peace
On Monday night, community members rallied outside Akron City Hall just hours after the funeral plans for Jayland Walker were announced.
“On behalf of the family, all they are asking is to give them 48 hours to bury, that’s all,” said Judy Hill with the NAACP Akron branch.
Hill said organized protests will cease until after Walker’s funeral at Akron’s Civic Theater Wednesday afternoon.
“Nobody wants this. So, for 48 hours, until Jayland’s body is laid to rest, they ask that we not protest, we don’t go to the streets and we won’t. For 48 hours, but I don’t want anyone to think that we should
stop,” said Hill.
Funeral Service Details
Funeral services for Jayland will be held Wednesday at Akron Civic Theatre, 182 South Main Street.
There will be a viewing from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. The service will be livestreamed and followed by a press conference.
Those attending the service can park, for free, in all city parking decks and the University of Akron’s Polsky parking deck.
Prior to the funeral, there will be a unity gathering at Remedy Church, 1700 Brittain Road, in Akron on Tuesday. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Latest from Jayland Walker’s family and attorney
On Monday, the attorney for Walker’s family spoke publicly to denounce what they say is Akron police violence against protesters.
“Jayland Walker’s family is calling for an immediate end to the aggressive, violent tactics being used by the Akron police against protesters,” the family wrote in a press release.
During the press conference, the attorney stated the family doesn’t stand for violence against anyone, but they do encourage protest.
Video obtained by FOX 8 showed an Akron police officer hitting a protester multiple times with a closed fist.
Jayland Walker’s family also called for the city’s curfew to be lifted.
Latest from City of Akron
Meanwhile, during a Monday press conference held by Akron’s Police Chief and Mayor, city officials said, “there have been bounties placed on police officers’ heads.”
Mayor Horrigan said he has also been the subject of threats.
“There has been threats against myself, my family, my home,” Horrigan said.
Police shared that there were no arrests or significant protest-related incidents in the city over the weekend.
“So long as the participants are non-violent, we’re going to give them space,” Chief Mylett said of protesters.
The mayor announced the curfew Monday would be extended until 11 p.m.
The city has launched a website with incidents and updated safety information.
Jayland Walkers Death
Jayland Walker was killed by Akron police on June 27. Police said they tried to stop him for a minor traffic violation. That led to a pursuit, in which they say Walker fired a shot from his car. Walker eventually got out and ran on foot. Akron police say they perceived a threat.
8 police officers opened fire. Walker had more than 60 wounds to his body, the medical examiner reports. The Ohio State Bureau of Investigation is investigating. The officers are on routine administrative leave.