AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — City and state officials are responding following the special grand jury’s decision regarding Jayland Walker, who was shot and killed by police last year.
Monday afternoon, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that a grand jury in Summit County chose not to bring charges against eight officers, after a week of hearing evidence and deliberating.
Following the announcement, Akron’s mayor Dan Horrigan said in a press conference he hoped people would “turn toward one another and not on each other” and asked for people from outside of the community to “stay away” as residents heal.
In the same press conference, Akron’s Police Chief Stephen Mylett explained how his office would move forward, including starting their own investigation into the incident.
“We will not be releasing the police officers involved’s information for their safety … and they are going to be on administrative duties for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Attorneys representing three of the eight officers released a statement saying they wanted to thank the grand jury for their decision.
Mylett had recently told FOX 8 they are prepared for protests once the decision is announced.
All eight officers who had faced potential criminal charges said they had to use deadly force in the incident as 25-year-old Walker fired a bullet while he was fleeing from a traffic stop — a claim backed up by newly released footage Monday that showed the shot. A shell that matched Walker’s gun was also found, prosecutors said.
Walker had more than 60 wounds found on his body, the medical examiner said.
**Related Video below: Akron police answer fiery questions before grand jury hears Jayland Walker case.**
For days, Akron residents and business owners have been awaiting the grand jury decision, placing boards over windows and hunkering down in case of protests.
U.S. Representative Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13) released a statement, asking for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the department:
“The safety and security of our neighborhoods requires trust between the community and the law enforcement officers who have taken an oath to protect and serve, but this trust has been violated and must be rebuilt. As such, I will formally request the Department of Justice to begin an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Akron Police Department to start the process of understanding how the department operates and look to create solutions for more community-focused policing that serves the needs of every segment of our community.
“Finally, as people begin to express their anger, grief, and concern through their Constitutional right to protest, I ask that you remember the words of Jayland’s family and honor his memory by protesting without violence. After the TV crews leave and the nation is no longer watching, it will only be us left to pick up the pieces. Our community deserves the chance to heal and move forward which we will do, must do — together.”