On Sunday, July 3, hundreds of protestors marched in Akron (in the north United States) after the broadcast of a police video that showed the murder of a black man. According to his lawyer, he was shot with 60 bullets. A crowd marched towards City Hall, waving banners demanding justice for Jayland as authorities called for calm.
Jayland Walker (25), was killed while running from police on foot following a chase in a car after an attempted arrest for traffic violations. The police released a very graphic video on Sunday showing the young man being sprayed with bullets.
Check out our video:
On Sunday, anti-racist groups called for a fourth day demonstration in the city of 190,000. The rallies were peaceful with the exception of a moment when protesters approached police officers and shouted at them.
A crowd continued to protest in the streets after the first rally ended. There had been no violence reported. To protect the station, however, authorities placed heavy equipment like snowplows around it because they were afraid of unrest.
Although initially reluctant to release any information, Akron authorities released two videos on Sunday. The first is a compilation video and screenshots taken from various police cameras. It also includes a commentary. The second video is the complete footage from the chase and shooting, also taken by a police camera.
According to the commentary, Walker didn't stop his car and ran. Police began a chase and multiple officers claimed that Walker was shot from his vehicle. Walker fled the scene on foot after several minutes of chase. Walker was finally subdued by the police with Tasers, but it was unsuccessful.
Many of them followed him into a parking garage. Although the footage is blurry, it's easy to see what happened next. Police stated that the 25-year old behaved in a manner that raised concerns about a "deadly menace". The police officers opened fire and fired many bullets. Walker was declared dead on the spot.
This incident recalls other black men who were killed in interactions with police officers, which led to a huge movement against racism.
"Many will want their grievances to be aired in public and I fully support the right of our residents to peaceful assembly," said Dan Horrigan, City Mayor. He expressed his heartbreak. He said that he hoped people would agree that violence and destruction was not the solution. A city councilor announced that an independent investigation was being opened.
Bobby DiCello, an attorney representing the victim's family, said that he has been a lawyer for 22-years and had never seen anything similar to what this video shows. . Chief of Police Steve Mylett claims that 60 injuries were found on Jayland Walker's corpse in a report by a medical examiner. Bobby DiCello claims that the man was struck by 60 bullets.
LeBron James, a basketball star from Akron, tweeted that he had prayed for his hometown.
In the interim, the eight officers who were involved in the death of Mr. Smith have been placed on administrative suspension with pay.