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

Akron protests
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-03 23:41:09-04

AKRON, Ohio — Sunday marked the fourth day of protests following the police shooting of Jayland Walker. Today's protests followed police releasing body cam video and additional information relating to Walker's death.

News 5 at 11 with the latest:

News 5 at 11

WARNING: This livestream 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.

Protests have been held around the city since the fatal shooting took place last week.

On Saturday immediately following the release of officer worn body camera, the NAACP held a rally outside Akron City Hall, where local leaders urged accountability and change.

Hundreds filled the streets, marching from Quaker Square to the Akron Police headquarters and City Hall.

"I thank you for peaceful protest and just protest," Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, aunt of Jayland Walker, told a crowd. "We don’t show credibility if we don’t show it right."

Those who knew Walker well wore buttons with his face asking for justice.

"I’ve known him all his life," family friend Karen Ingram said. "It’s very emotional and it's like deja vu. You’re seeing it on TV and you’re seeing it, but until it hits home, that’s when it's so bad."

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. Though largely peaceful, at one point the windows of Akron highway plows that were being used to block off streets were smashed. Outside of the Akron Police Department building, what appeared to be tear gas was shot into the crowd to disperse protesters after some had knocked over the barricades surrounding the justice center.

The shooting

Walker, 25, was shot and killed early Monday by Akron police. Captain Dave Laughlin, of the Akron Police Department, said it all started after midnight when two officers were trying to stop a car on Tallmadge Avenue in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood.

Within a few seconds of being on Route 8, officers said a firearm was discharged from Walker’s vehicle.

Officers pursued him down Route 8 and I-77 where he exited into the Firestone Park Area before jumping out and fleeing on foot, heading northbound through a grassy area into a parking lot at Bridgestone.

According to Laughlin, Walker's actions "caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them," and officers opened fire in response, striking Walker.

The entire incident lasted just minutes.

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.

Autopsy photos reveal more than 60 markers on Jayland Walker's body