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Akron FOP, state law enforcement agencies release statement on Jayland Walker shooting

Jayland walker body camera video
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-03 15:37:53-04

AKRON, Ohio  — Multiple organizations have released statements after Akron Police released the body camera video of the shooting death of Jayland Walker.

Akron FOP

The Akron FOP said they appreciate the public's concern for the events that transpired on June 27. They released the following statement:

"This incident is a tragedy for our entire community, including the family of Jayland Walker, as well as all of the officers involved. Many officers work their entire career without discharging their weapon. A split-second decision to use lethal force is one that every police officer hopes he or she will never be forced to make.

Each and every officer involved is cooperating fully with an independent investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCD. The FOP would like to respond to misinformation and share some of the material facts of this incident. Additional evidence and information will be provided as the investigation proceeds. On Monday morning, June 27th, officers attempted to stop a motor vehicle driven by Jayland Walker. Mr. Walker failed to obey a lawful order to stop and attempted to flee. Officers were aware that the same vehicle Mr. Walker was driving that morning was involved in a felony fleeing police chase in Franklin Township the previous morning. During the incident on Monday, ODOT traffic cameras captured a muzzle flash when Mr. Walker discharged his weapon while fleeing the police. Investigators recovered a shell casing where traffic cameras captured the muzzle flash.

Mr. Walker proceeded to lead police from North Hill to Firestone Park on State route 8 and through residential streets. Officers barricaded a street near the Bridgestone Americas campus. When Mr. Walker saw this barricade, he attempted to flee from the driver's side of his vehicle. When a police cruiser approached Mr. Walker's driver's side door, he slid across the front seat and jumped out the passenger side door while the car was still moving. Jayland Walker was wearing a ski mask covering his head and face when he exited his vehicle.

Multiple officers ordered Mr. Walker to stop. Mr. Walker ignored lawful commands and ran towards the Bridgestone Americas parking lot. Multiple attempts to stop Mr. Walker with tasers were unsuccessful. Shortly after Mr. Walker entered the parking lot of Bridgestone Americas, officers observed Mr. Walker reach toward the waist of his hoodie and raise his arm while turning towards officers. At this time, officers reasonably believed that Mr. Walker presented an immediate threat of serious physical harm or death and lawfully, based on their training as well as state and federal law, discharged their weapons.

A firearm was recovered from Mr. Walker's vehicle.

We believe the independent investigation will justify the officers' actions, including the number of shots fired. The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired is consistent with use of force protocols and officers' training. The Akron FOP acknowledges the pain and suffering of Mr. Walker's family and joins them in calling for peace in our community. We are at the beginning stages of this investigation and much work remains. The Akron FOP urges the public to withhold judgment until all the evidence is gathered and the investigation concludes."

Dave Yost
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the matter and that the results will be made available to the public.

“People want and deserve answers, and they shall have them. BCI will conduct a complete, fair and expert investigation,” Yost said. “Body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture – before drawing conclusions, the full review must take place.”

“The goal is the truth, and we need to talk to anyone who knows anything. Silence will never produce justice," Yost said.

Department of Justice
The Department of Justice released the following statement on the shooting:

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the FBI Field Office in Akron are closely monitoring and reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of Jayland Walker. The FBI continues to coordinate with state and local partners to provide resources and specialized skills. If the evidence reveals potential violations of federal criminal statutes, the Justice Department will take appropriate action.”

What happened
Preliminary medical examiner records reveal disturbing images from Jayland Walker’s autopsy, including more than 60 markers indicating "defects" on Walker's body that may be gunshot wounds from bullets fired by Akron Police officers.

The documents showed there were multiple gunshot wounds to Walker’s face, abdomen and upper legs.

Closer examination of the thumbnail-size photos appears to show Walker took a bullet under his left eye and below his chin.

News 5 also counted dozens of pictures of bullet fragments.

The records revealed Walker was found on his back on the pavement in handcuffs.

Police shot and killed Walker in a parking lot less than 100 feet from the road.

His car hit the church across the street.

Medical examiner records show a gun was found inside the car.

“From the time they called out it out about four and a half minutes,” said Captain Dave Laughlin, Akron Police Department.

Sunday's press conferences

Akron Police and city officials held a press conference on Sunday where they released the body camera video.

WARNING: This video may include images and video that viewers may find graphic and/or disturbing. Due to the nature of this incident, News 5 is opting to stream the protests unedited and in full. Viewer discretion is advised.

Akron Police release footage of police shooting of Jayland Walker

Walker's attorney held a press conference immediately following the release of the body camera video.

WATCH: Jayland Walker family's comments following Akron Police press conference

RELATED: WATCH: Akron Police held news conference, released footage of police shooting of Jayland Walker