A 25-year-old Black man was unarmed when Akron police chased him on foot and killed him in a hail of gunfire, following a car chase that started when officers attempted to initiate a routine stop for traffic and equipment violations.
The incident began at about 12:30 a.m. Monday, June 27, when police alleged that Jayland Walker ran a routine traffic stop.
After a brief vehicle pursuit, Walker got out of his car and ran away, but as he stopped after a short foot chase, eight of the 13 police officers shadowing him fired their weapons.
Akron, Ohio, Police Chief Stephen Mylett said the officers who discharged their weapons believed Walker was turning towards them, reaching towards his waist and “moving into a firing position.”
A Medical examiner said Walker suffered at least 60 wounds when police officers fired about 90 bullets at him.
Mylett said a gun was recovered from Walker’s car after the shooting, and authorities said that the man fired a gun out the driver’s side window during the high-speed car chase.
There is no dispute that Walker was unarmed at the time he was killed, and police released body camera videos from 13 officers who were at the scene that prompted more questions about the June 27 shooting, which remains under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI).
Mylett said eight officers who were “directly involved in the shooting” have all been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy.
Seven of those officers are White and one is Black.
“Each time I’ve watched the video, it’s gotten worse for me,” said Ken Abbarno, an attorney for Walker’s family. “Every movement that I see, every shot that I heard, and every time that I see Jayland, lying on the ground, just gets more and more horrific.”