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VIDEO: Family, friends gather in Akron for Jayland Walker's funeral

Tearful service included fond memories of Walker, frustration with his death
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Posted at 7:10 AM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 08:50:42-04

AKRON, Ohio  — A funeral service was held on Wednesday afternoon for Jayland Walker, who was shot and killed by Akron police on June 27.

You can watch the service in the player below:

Family, friends, community gather in Akron for Jayland Walker's funeral

Walker's family and friends shared memories during the tearful service.

At times during the ceremony there were powerful statements from church leaders saying this should not be normal, that Walker should be with his family right now.

“We must not try to act that this is alright. This is not alright. We should not be here and Jayland should not be in that box,” said Bishop Timothy Clarke.

Some mourners honored Walker with buttons on their suit jackets and shared cherished memories.

“This is pretty hard for me standing up here,” said Walker’s best friend, Dupri Whatley.

Whatley took a few seconds to compose himself as mourners clapped for him to carry on.

“Friends forever to me felt like forever. We grew up wrestling, never a dull moment. We became brothers,” said Whatley.

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This is a poster on the stage during a news conference following the funeral service for Jayland Walker at the Akron Civic Center in Akron, Ohio, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Walker would always lend an ear when he needed an opinion, Whatley said.

“It just sucks because I used to call Jayland almost all the time and I can’t call him anymore when I’m going through some things,” said Whatley.

His cousin, Robin Elerick, called Walker a soft-spoken funny guy.

“When I think about Jayland I think about someone who was just had the biggest heart,” said Elerick.

Elerick pointed to moments in life when Walker would bring to her his love, laughs and most recently tears.

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Director Spike Lee, right, leaves the Akron Civic Center following the funeral service for Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“Last few weeks I spent with him he was going through a hard time and the moments I remember are the ones we spent quietly holding hands and crying with each other,” said Elerick.

She said Walker’s big heart would even shine through impromptu calls and texts.

“There were a lot of I love yous back and forth,” Elerick said.

Walker’s uncle, Tom Addie, echoing the love he felt from his nephew.

“Jayland was just a kind soul with a great heart. Sometimes he had me step back and look at myself,” said Addie.

Addie says he is cherishing the good times with Walker.

“He loved basketball, he loved Kobe and LeBron and the one thing about Jayland—he was always fitted in the right shoes—he was always fresh,” Addie said.

Walker’s life ended at the age of 25.

He was engaged to be married.

“He was an undercover momma’s boy,” said Pastor Robert DeJournett with St. Ashworth Temple.

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The hearse carrying the casket of Jayland Walker leaves the Akron Civic Center following a funeral service in Akron, Ohio, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Family pastor and cousin relaying to mourners kind words from Walker’s mother and sister.

“Jayland was sweet, he was caring, he was thoughtful, he was humble and an all around nice person,” said DeJournett.

A young son, brother, cousin and best friend, etched in their hearts.

“He is going to live through me. I'm never going to forget him,” said Whatley.

Mourners thanked protesters and want them to continue to say Walker’s name.

RELATED: Follow our latest coverage of the shooting and its aftermath here