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Curfew issued after windows broken at several downtown Akron businesses; about 50 people arrested, police say

Several fireworks shows canceled
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Posted at 10:56 AM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 23:19:01-04

AKRON, Ohio — While protests in Akron for the police shooting of Jayland Walker were largely peaceful Sunday after the release of police body camera video, police used tear gas to disperse crowds after midnight, and storefront windows were found broken at several downtown businesses Monday morning. Akron Police said about 50 people were arrested in connection with the damage.

In response to the damage, the City of Akron issued a curfew for downtown Akron in effect from 9 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Police say protests were 'mostly peaceful,' but violent group emerged

According to a news release from the Akron Police Department, the City of Akron issued a curfew order shortly after midnight Monday. After that order was issued, "dozens or more" people who were still gathered in and around downtown did not disperse, police said.

"While the majority of protestors were peaceful, during the gathering, a group of violent protestors emerged from amongst the larger group and caused substantial property damage to several businesses, restaurants, and nearby residential structures," police officials said.

Property damage included shattered windows, overturned fixtures and plantstands, a fire set in a dumpster and several other fires that were quickly contained and extinguished, police said.

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Damage to businesses in Akron that was caused amid largely peaceful protests following the release of body camera video of the police shooting of Jayland Walker.

The windows of Akron highway plows that were being used to block off streets were also found smashed by a News 5 crew Monday morning.

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A city truck used to barricade a street in downtown Akron had its windows smashed out Sunday.

Police deployed 'chemical irritant' to disperse crowd

Akron Police, assisted by the Summit County Sheriff's Office and other agencies, coordinated a "targeted response" and converged on those who were causing damage, the release states.

"A team of officers provided multiple verbal commands and other instructions and offered a reasonable amount of time to comply," police stated. Because of concerns that the situation could escalate, and due to the "refusal to comply with a lawful order to disperse," officers deployed a "chemical irritant" to prevent further rioting and property damage.

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What appears to be a spent tear gas or chemical agent grenade, apparently deployed by Akron police as people were attempting to knock over barricades around the justice center.

About 50 people arrested

About 50 people were arrested after midnight on Monday for various charges including rioting, failure to disperse and misconduct during an emergency, an Akron Police said. Those arrested are from Akron, other parts of Summit County and other Ohio counties.

This destruction is what led the mayor to order the curfew Monday night.

"Again, the Akron Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies and city leaders, echoes the Walker Family’s plea for peace during these challenging times ahead," police stated in the news release. "We respect and support a citizen’s right to peacefully protest but cannot condone violence or property destruction."

Largest protest to date

Sunday marked the fourth day of protests in Akron after 25-year-old Walker was shot dozens of times by Akron police in the early morning hours of Monday, June 27. It was the largest protest to date, with hundreds filling the streets and marching from Quaker Square to Akron Police Headquarters and City Hall in the hours following the city’s news conference and release of body camera video.

RELATED: Protests in Akron after police release body-camera video of Jayland Walker shooting

Chants of "Justice for Jayland" and "we are done dying" echoed throughout the streets well into the evening, with some protesters blocking traffic in the Highland Square neighborhood as well as West Akron.

Protests continued throughout the night.

Statement from the mayor

On Monday morning, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued the following statement:

“Early yesterday, we had several peaceful protests in the downtown footprint related to the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker. These protests did not escalate to violence and destruction. I want to first thank them. As I stated yesterday, I fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble. What we have been calling for since the beginning, and what the Walker family and many community leaders and faith leaders have also urged, is peace. However, as night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful. There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron. Small businesses up and down Main St. have had their windows broken. We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for tonight.”

Details of the curfew in Akron

The curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in downtown Akron, which is delineated as:

North: SR 59 (Perkins St/MLK Jr. Blvd.)
West: SR 59 (MLK Jr. Blvd.)
South: I-76/I-77
East: SR 8

See a map of the curfew area here.

According to a city news release, those excepted from the curfew restrictions are:

  1. All law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel and members of the news media, as well as other personnel authorized by the City of Akron, and the State of Ohio, or individuals otherwise exempt under the law.
  2. Persons traveling directly between their place of work and their residence.
  3. Persons traveling to seek medical care.
  4. Persons fleeing from dangerous circumstances.

Cancellations and curfew impacts

As a result of the curfew, the fireworks shows scheduled for downtown Akron, the Patterson Park Sports Complex, and the Akron Fulton airport have all been canceled for Monday night, the city said.

View the full curfew order here.

Akron's Metro RTA is ending all services with the 8 p.m. outbound trips from the Transit Center, according to a news release from Metro.

Acme Fresh Market stores in Akron — in Ellet, Kenmore and West Akron — announced that they will close at 9 p.m. "in support of the City of Arkon's curfew.

In addition, the Akron RubberDucks postponed Monday night's game against the Altoona Curve.

RELATED: Akron RubberDucks game postposed due to curfew after downtown businesses damaged

After closing on Friday, the Akron Municipal Courthouse announced it will also be closed on Tuesday, July 5. Arraignments will be held remotely for those in custody. Those who were scheduled to appear on Friday and Tuesday should appear in person on Friday, July 8.

Monday protests

While the city was initially quiet Monday, News 5 crews caught up with a group of protesters — significantly smaller than than the groups that turned out Sunday — as they marched through a residential neighborhood in Akron.

RELATED: Protests over police shooting of Jayland Walker continue for 5th day in Akron

City departments, Walker's family and community leaders have repeatedly called for protests to be peaceful.

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