AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – More than 50 protestors took to the streets of Akron Friday night demanding justice for Jayland Walker.
The crowd, which included many of Walker’s loved ones, marched down Market and through the neighborhood chanting and carrying signs.
“I came out here for my cousin Jayland,” said a man who asked us not to publish his name. “I feel like I can’t wrap my head around it because I know Jayland personally and he didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
The 25-year-old died last June after Akron officers attempted to pull him over for a broken taillight. A police chase ensued and during the pursuit, officers claim Walker shot at them.
When he got out of the car and began running, they shot him 46 times.
Walker was determined to be unarmed, but a gun was recovered from the passenger’s seat.
“It’s so totally excessive. I can’t even imagine,” said protestor Donna Webb.
A grand jury reviewing the evidence against the eight officers involved in the shooting will stretch into the second week and resume Monday. April 17.
“I just hope it will be a good outcome,” said Shalesa Beasley.
Beasley’s daughter was engaged to Walker and died in a car accident. She says he was mourning her death when he was killed by police.
“It’s overwhelming because we all were in a car accident together,” said Beasley. “We’re holding on the best we can. It’s just sad.”
Bracing for protests, city garages and the library closed early. Many businesses have also boarded up their windows after being damaged during protests last summer.
Akron Public Schools released a statement saying in part that, “In the event of any disturbances… we are ready to put into motion plans to accommodate our scholars and ensure their safety.”
They said Akron Early College will have a calamity day Monday and downtown schools will be “receiving the necessary information from their principals as needed.”
But some protestors said they don’t want trouble. They just want accountability and justice for Walker.
“I think those cops need their day in court. They may be innocent, but they need to face a jury and I think that would be healing for everybody,” said Elizabeth Armstrong.