***Video above: Protestors march in Akron Wednesday evening***
AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Emotions have been running high in Akron after a grand jury declined to indict eight police officers involved in the shooting death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker after a traffic stop lead to a chase on June 27, 2022.
Walker was shot 46 times.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the decision Monday.
The decision means there will be no criminal charges at the state level, but does not resolve any civil complaints of wrongful death against the officers. You can read more about the Walker family’s next steps and call for the federal government to get involved, here.
FOX 8 has continued coverage of what’s ahead in the city.
April 19, 2023
11 p.m. Several businesses in Highland Square were damaged by rocks. Businesses include Wally Waffle, Irie Jamaican Kitchen and Chipotle.
8:30 p.m. Akron officials say protesters were ordered to disperse the area of Copley Road after bottles were thrown at officers.
5:30 p.m. Protesters gathered at Hawkins Plaza for a march in Akron. The group then marched on the roadway carrying flags and signs.
5 p.m. University of Akron is returning to most in-person classes on its main campus Thursday, the university tweeted. This excludes evening classes (6 p.m. or later) at the Polsky Building and College of Business.
12 p.m. Akron Children’s Museum will be closed through Sunday, April 23.
April 18, 2023
6:20 p.m. University of Akron tweeted that classes will remain remote on Wednesday.
6:15 p.m. Akron Public Schools will be back in session Wednesday. Classes will resume normally except for Akron Early College, NIHF STEM Middle School, and STEM High School. Those students will be contacted by school administrators.
6 p.m. Akron community members hold prayer vigil in the city’s designated demonstration zone.
4:30 p.m. State Rep. Darnell Brewer of Cleveland, D-18th, issued a statement Tuesday:
Until we seriously examine the issue of policing, police brutality, and racism, things will not change in Ohio. Particularly in regards to dangerous traffic stops. The death of Jayland Walker was preventable and should never have happened. He now joins the names of countless others, including Clevelanders Timothy Williams and Malissa Russell, who were shot a combined 137 times by police officers, all because of a traffic stop. I’ve learned early in life that if you want something, you better make some noise. It’s time for Ohioans to make their voices heard to find a better understanding of this tragedy and how we can work together to make sure this tragedy never happens in another community.State Rep. Darnell Brewer of Cleveland, D-18th
4:30 p.m. The group of protesters that had been marching in Akron since about 3 p.m. Tuesday disbanded at about 4:30 p.m. where the march first began, at First Congregational Church along East Market Street.
4 p.m. A march scheduled for 4 p.m. on the University of Akron campus was expected to start and end at Coleman Commons, according to a tweet from the city of Akron. A SkyFOX crew did not spot any protesters on the campus as of 4 p.m.
The group that marched from First Congregational Church was still at the Akron federal courthouse shortly after 4 p.m.
3:30 p.m. A group of dozens of protesters who started marching west from First Congregational Church arrived at the John F. Seiberling Federal Building, Akron’s federal courthouse along Main Street. The group of marchers was led and trailed by a long line of vehicles that, at times, caused traffic to drive around or paused for a time at an intersection.
3 p.m. A group of dozens of protesters that began marching along Market Street from First Congregational Church of Akron moved west toward North Prospect Street on the westbound lanes, as seen on aerial footage captured by SkyFOX. The demonstrators, many of whom are carrying signs and wearing dark-colored clothing, are being led in front by vehicles and flanked on the side by other vehicles positioned between them and oncoming traffic. No police vehicles were observed nearby.
2 p.m. Akron’s Citizens’ Police Oversight Board extended its condolences to Jayland Walker’s family in a Tuesday statement, and also recognized those who have expressed their disappointment frustration since the Monday verdict.
“We hear you and ask that you please continue to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas,” the statement reads.
The board, created by a city ballot initiative proposed after Walker’s death in June 2022 and an amendment to the city charter, is tasked with independently reviewing policing practices in the city. It plans to ensure the investigation into Walker’s death was complete, thorough and transparent and also “consider what additional steps it might take concerning this tragic matter.”
” … The Board acknowledges the mistrust that exists between Akron citizens and law enforcement. The Board will work tirelessly towards creating the conditions to which trust can be built. There is much work to be done, and the Board does not take this obligation lightly,” the statement concludes.
2 p.m. SkyFOX is following a group of protesters that was expected to gather in Akron on Tuesday afternoon. Rev. Ray Greene, executive director of Freedom BLOC, told FOX 8 News that more than 100 demonstrators are expected. The group is now gathering outside First Congregational Church in Akron. Greene did not say where the group would be marching or where it would end, but said the planned protests will continue as long as it takes to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. Just before 2:30 p.m., several dozen people had gathered.
1 p.m. A newly formed group of Black pastors and civic leaders called for peace and unity in Akron following the Jayland Walker decision. Tribal Trauma Triage, a group convened by Akron Deputy Mayor Marco Somerville, set a media conference for 1 p.m. Tuesday at The House of the Lord church along Diagonal Road.
11 a.m. Monday night protests in Akron led to about six arrests, according to police.
A caravan that peaked at more than 60 vehicles reportedly blocked and drove against traffic around the city. Officers started stopping cars around West Akron, East Akron and along South Main Street, according to a release. At least two illegal handguns were seized during traffic stops.
Just after 8:30 p.m., officers reported hearing gunfire near South Main Street and East Wilbeth Road, where there was a large caravan of vehicles. An unknown person also ignited fireworks along Main Street. The protests ended just after midnight, according to the report.
A 30-year-old man was arrested on a criminal mischief charge, accused of tampering with city-owned equipment along South High Street. He was also charged with marijuana possession, open container and obstructing official business.
[Editor’s note: This entry has been updated to correct the suspect’s age. Akron police initially reported the man was 23 years old.]
11 a.m. The public is invited to begin gathering for a ‘Justice for Jayland Walker’ march at 11 a.m. near First Congressional Church, 292 E. Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44308. The march will step off at 1:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. FOX 8’s Dave Nethers reports from downtown Akron. The morning is off to a quiet start following a decision not to indict eight police officers for the shooting death of Jayland Walker, but more protests are expected.
5 a.m. Downtown Akron is quiet early Tuesday morning. But, more protests are expected later in the day. The Freedom BLOC is inviting supporters to begin gathering at 11 a.m. for a march that will step off at 1 p.m.
April 17, 2023
10:55 p.m. University of Akron is moving all in-person classes at its main campus to remote learning starting Tuesday until further notice.
On-campus events will also be canceled until further notice. According to the university, student-athletes should check with their coaches for updates on practices and other events.
The university says campus will stay open, but employees who can work from home are urged to do so.
10 p.m. A caravan of cars shut down a portion of Wilbeth Road, near where Walker was shot and killed. Later, the City of Akron tweeted out that S. Main Street is temporarily closed from Mill to State due to protesters. You can read more about the scene, here.
Stay with FOX 8 for the latest developments.