Jayland Walker: Video shows Black motorist shot over 60 times as police claim 25-year-old fired first

Police body camera footage shows a large group of officers in Akron, Ohio, firing a storm of as many as 90 shots at Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black motorist who fled a minor traffic stop on foot earlier this week.

More than 60 of the bullets hit Mr Walker, according to reports of early autopsy evidence.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said he is “beyond outraged and beyond shocked” about what happened during the traffic stop, and called on community members to stay peaceful and wait for a full investigation of the incident.

“I am urging all our residents, please reserve your full judgment until the investigation is complete,” Mr Horrigan said at the press conference. “You’ll have to do one of the most difficult things I can ever ask somebody to do and that is to please be patient.”

During the Sunday presentation, Akron police played video from officer body cameras and state highway cameras of the encounter.

Police say that Walker fled an attempted traffic stop on the early hours of Monday morning, leading police on a car chase.

As officers pursued in their cruisers, officials say police both heard and saw a gun shot flash out from Walker’s car.

At the Sunday press conference, officers played video from a highway traffic camera which shows a grainy image of a flash coming from Walker’s car.

“Shots fired, that vehicle just had a shot come out of its door,” an officer can be heard saying on body camera footage.

Attorneys for Walker’s family say they haven’t seen evidence that Jayland fired at police. A handgun with a loaded magazine was recovered sitting on the front seat of the 25-year-old’s car.

Body camera footage then captures a group of eight officers pursue Walker through a parking lot as he begins to run away on foot.

According to police, officers first tried to use a Taser on the 25-year-old.

Walker then “stopped and quickly turned” towards officers. Believing he was armed, they fired countless shots towards the man, police said, even though he Walker was in fact unarmed at the time of the chase on foot.

Attorney Bobby DiCello, who is representing Mr Walker’s family, said he was horrified by the footage

“In my 22 years of doing trial work, both as a former prosecutor for Cuyahoga County and as a civil rights attorney on many serious cases of lethal use of force, I have never in my life seen anything like this, ever. It is very, very disturbing,” Mr DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal.

The lawyer said the video was “unbelievable” and “brutal”, but called on community members to honor requests from Mr Walker to keep ongoing peaceful protests.

“We’re all bracing for the community’s response and the one message that we have is the family does not need any more violence,” he said. “… It needs peace, and it wants peace, and it wants the process to play out.”

Community members have been protesting the shooting for days.

“When some people don’t follow directions, they wind up in handcuffs,” Hamza Khabir, of activist group Law Enforcement Equality Reform, told New York Times. “When Black people do so, they wind up being shot and killed.”

The city canceled a planned 4 July celebration in light of the shooting.

“He was my skinny little nephew,” Mr Walker’s aunt Lajuana Walker Dawkins said at a news conference on Thursday. “And we miss him. We just want some answers.”

An unspecified number of Akron police officers have been placed on administrative leave after the shooting.

The Akron Police Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are probing the shooting, and will turn their findings over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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