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Jayland Walker's family, attorneys call for Department of Justice to take over investigation

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Posted at 8:17 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 13:07:18-04

AKRON, Ohio — On what would have been Jayland Walker's 26th birthday, his family and attorney are calling for the Department of Justice to take over the investigation into his death.

Walker family attorney Bobby DiCello said during a press conference today that he believes that Akron FOP President Clay Cozart and BCI have "colluded" based on statements Cozart has made to media outlets about the details surrounding Walker's death.

DiCello is now calling Cozart a witness.

“We are going to drill down exactly how you became a witness. How did you know what they were saying," DiCello said. "All of these questions raise enormous concerns about the integrity of the investigation."

The Akron FOP president has said officers were aware of previous chases involving Walker, which is why they attempted to pull him over the night of his death.

RELATED: Akron FOP says officers knew about previous pursuit of Jayland Walker's car

The family is now joining the Akron and national NAACP's effort to have the Department of Justice take over the investigation.

DiCello said a letter has been sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland making the request, an effort that he says has the assistance of Sen. Sherrod Brown.

"We did not initially ask for a different body to get involved, but now we want the DOJ to replace BCI in the investigation," DiCello said.

BCI released the following statement:

"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 deserves a thorough, independent investigation, and that is what they will get.”

Watch the start of the press conference:

Jayland Walker's family, attorneys call for Department of Justice to take over investigation

A birthday tribute video was shown, and then DiCello took questions:

Jayland Walker birthday tribute

You can follow our continuing Jayland Walker coverage here.