Ohio police released graphic bodycam footage that captured the death of Akron DoorDash driver Jayland Walker as eight officers unleashed a deluge of bullets, striking Walker at least 60 times.
Last Monday, police attempted to stop Walker, 25, for unspecified traffic and vehicle violations. Rather than comply, a pursuit ensued and Walker allegedly fired a gunshot from his vehicle, according to The New York Post.
Eventually, as the footage shows, Walker stopped his car, exited the vehicle wearing a ski mask, and attempted to flee the scene on foot.
According to police, Walker appeared to turn in their direction. Fearing he was about to fire another shot, police preemptively opened fire.
At a Sunday press conference, Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett released two videos, the first of which was edited and narrated for clarity. In it, an image of a flash can be seen erupting from Walker’s Buick, cincinnati.com reported.
That was the moment, said Mylett, that everything changed.
“It went from being a routine traffic stop to now a public safety issue,” he explained.
The second video is of bodycam footage taken from the officer who initiated the traffic stop, and captures the entire incident up to and including the moment of Walker’s death.
Of the 13 officers present at the scene, eight fired their weapons. Mylett estimated that up to 90 rounds may have been discharged. According to the city of Akron, none of the involved have been previously disciplined, found at fault for “substantiated complaints,” or been involved in a fatal shooting prior to that night. While four of the officers had been on the job for less than four years, one had six years on the force.
Ultimately, it was discovered that Walker had left a handgun, an ammo clip, and what looked to be a gold wedding ring on the seat of his car. When he exited the vehicle, he was unarmed.
According to the Fraternal Order of Police’s Akron Lodge #7, the Buick driven by Walker was involved in a “felony fleeing police chase” in Franklin Township, north of Akron, the morning prior to the fatal incident, the Daily Mail reports.
Later, it was revealed that his fiancée, Jaymeisha Beasley, had been killed in an accident just a month ago.
For many on social media, the footage depicts yet another example of “police brutality.”
(WARNING: This video is graphic!)
#Akron Ohio police release bodycam footage in the killing of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old black man who was shot 60 times by police while he was unarmed and fleeing on foot.
— GhostTown 187 (@GhostTown44) July 4, 2022
The mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, described the video as “heartbreaking.”
Following Chief Mylett’s press conference, Bobbie DiCello, lead attorney for the Walker family, accused police of making Walker out to be a “monster.”
“They want to turn him into a masked monster with a gun,” he said. “And we knew that.”
“I want you to know that when I go to court for this family, the judge will look at me and say, ‘You are not allowed, lead counsel, to look at a shooting like an armchair quarterback. You’re not allowed to look back at the shooting for the end of the story and give snapshots in time.”
When the local medical examiner arrived on the scene, Walker was reportedly lying on his back in handcuffs.
His death has once again sparked protests.
Once the brutal bodycam video went viral, “several hundred” protesters gathered outside Akron’s main courthouse, WKYC reports. Police in “full riot gear” deployed tear gas as one rioter attempted to take down barriers erected outside of police headquarters.
Dumpsters were set ablaze, shop windows were shattered, and smoke bombs were launched by protesters.
🚨#BREAKING: Multiple Fires Breaking out in Akron Ohio
Currently happening A Large protest underway for For Jayland Walker as multiple Dumpsters fires being lit on fire with reports of people Smashing Buildings windows as unlawful assembly was just declared pic.twitter.com/DMUUJB3ObI
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) July 4, 2022
On Twitter, users openly called for more protesters to show up.
Said one user, “City gonna burn.”
City gonna burn 🔥
Tear gas deployed🚨🚨🚨
Justice For Jayland Walker #JusticeForJayland #JaylandWalker Akron Ohio. we're outside. Abolish APD. They are flying blue line flag.
Come downtown yall. We need more people #Akron pic.twitter.com/IenHEpxOjv
— Comrade Ohio (@ComradeOhio) July 4, 2022
Meanwhile, the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the Post reported. According to the head of the police union, said Mylett, they are cooperating with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation in their investigation.
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