AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Protesters were out in Akron for another day, demanding justice in the death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker.
Meanwhile, a group of elected leaders in Summit County are calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the police-involved shooting.
A group of demonstrators spent Friday afternoon and evening protesting in front of the Akron Police Department downtown.
“Because it was a public execution in or own hometown, he was just 25-years old doing his job, there’s nothing that warranted this kind of violence,” said demonstrator Christhy Sotres.
According to Akron police, officers tried to pull over Walker around 12:30 a.m. Monday. They say he did not stop and during a chase along Route 8, he fired a shot at them. The pursuit continued for another five minutes and, according to police, Jayland jumped out of the car’s passenger side.
“He turned towards the officers and the officers perceived his behavior as a threat and the officers engaged Mr. Walker with gunfire,” said Akron police chief Steve Mylett.
“It’s beyond de-escalating a situation and it’s uncalled for, continues to happen here in America and we’re just not going to stand for it anymore,” said protester Tsigerda McClelland.
The organization Black Elected Officials of Summit County is calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case.
“We believe that it rises to the level of some real civil rights issues being violated, without question,” said Veronica Sims, who is president of the organization and a Summit County councilwoman.
Members of the organization offered their condolences to the family and also called for police reform.
“For us, as a black community, we’ve seen this play out so many times and it just reopens the trauma and this is no different,” said Sims.
Ohio Congresswoman Shontel Brown released a statement reading, in part, “I am gravely concerned about the killing of a young Black man at the hands of police, especially as it happens all too often across this country. As we await further details regarding the shooting, I urge the City of Akron and its police department to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation to fully inform Mr. Walker’s family and our community and ensure accountability.”
“What they did was wrong and it’s only a matter of time before body camera footage and audio recording show that,” said Tsigerda.
Chief Mylett and Mayor Dan Horrigan plan to hold a news conference and released bodycam video of the incident at 1 p.m. Sunday.