AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — On what would have been the 26th birthday of Jayland Walker, his family’s attorney is asking for a complete overhaul of the investigation into his death.

During a press conference, the NAACP leadership and the family’s legal team asked for the investigation to be taken away from the BCI and turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice. They are claiming that there may be collusion with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

“It smells of a cover-up,” said Family Attorney Bobby DiCello. “Our hearts are heavy today because we had to begin Jayland’s birthday with this strange need that law enforcement seems to have to always get the last word in when someone dies.”

DiCello points to recent comments the FOP President, Clay Cozart, made to the media as his reason to believe the investigation needs to be handed over to the Department of Justice.

“The evidence we have of collusion would include the statements by Mr.Cozart himself, which again I’ll use his words, not mine, ‘he didn’t want to get into the specifics of the shooing.’ Now how does he know of the specifics of the shooting?” questioned DiCello. “There is no way for him to know what another person thinks so he either made that up, or he is being talked to or he is talking to them.”

Cozart spoke out to the FOX 8 I-Team. He said he represents the officers and there is no collusion with BCI.

FOX 8 will have more from the FOP as the information becomes available.

“BCI shall remain steadfast in our commitment to independent investigations regarding officer-involved shootings, and this case is no different. No updates have or will be provided to the FOP president or any other parties by BCI while the investigation is ongoing. The officers involved in the incident have a constitutional right to legal counsel like everyone else would in this situation. The family and the community deserve a thorough, independent investigation, and that is what they will get,” said Steve Irwin, Press Secretary for the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

A Justice for Jayland Birthday March is planned for Wednesday from 7-10 p.m. at Firestone Park Community Center.

Wednesday, the family released a birthday video tribute to Jayland.


Police tried to stop Walker for a minor traffic violation on June 27. Walker led police on a chase, where officers said he fired a shot. Eventually, Walker got out of the vehicle and ran on foot. He was unarmed and wearing a ski mask. Eight officers who were on the scene said they perceived a threat and opened fire.

The Summit County Medical Examiner on Friday released findings from the autopsy and confirmed that Walker was shot 46 times in the head, torso, pelvis, legs, arms and knees.

Akron City leaders on Monday announced they will implement a Citizens Review Board on policing.

They also announced they will no longer hold daily press briefings, and instead will hold the conferences on an “as needed” basis.