Police in Akron on Sunday released video of the chase and fatal shooting of a black DoorDash driver who was killed last week as he ran from police after allegedly leading them on a chase and shooting at them.
Jayland Walker, 25, who police say was wearing a ski mask and shot at them before jumping out of his car and running away, was shot up to 60 times in the June 27 incident. Although he did not have the gun with him as he ran, Police Chief Stephen Mylett said the video showed Walker appear to reach for something at his waist and turn as he ran, prompting the police to fire.
“It was difficult to watch, and shocking,” Mylett said of the bodycam video, which showed police converging on Walker’s car. “I’m not going to pass judgment [until the investigation is completed].”
NOW – Police have released bodycam footage of the shooting of Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio.
Walker was unarmed at the time of the shooting, but a gun was found in the car, police says. pic.twitter.com/9oREYZycIo
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) July 3, 2022
Police said they were pursuing Walker because the car he was driving had been involved in a crime the previous day. They say he refused to stop, sped through a residential neighborhood, shot at them and jumped out of the car while it was still moving at a barricade, creating a “deadly threat” and prompting officers to use Tasers and then handguns.
Police attempted to aid Walker after he was subdued, Mylett said. He was lying on his back in handcuffs when a medical examiner arrived at the scene, according to an investigative worksheet for the case shown to the Beacon Journal at the medical examiner’s office. He had been shot in the face, torso, and upper legs, according to the report.
Both the report and video from the crime scene confirmed Walker had a handgun in his silver Buick. The Akron Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement that traffic cameras had captured a muzzle flash from Walker’s car and that a shell casing had been found from the same location.
“This incident is a tragedy for our entire community, including the family of Jayland Walker, as well as all of the officers involved,” the Akron FOP said. “Many officers work their entire career without discharging their weapon. A split-second decision to use lethal force is one that every police officer hopes he or she will never be forced to make.”
Mayor Daniel Horrigan called for calm while the investigation proceeds.
“The video is heartbreaking, it’s hard to take in,” Horrigan said.
Eight police officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave and the city has canceled its Fourth of July festival while the investigation proceeds and amid concerns protests could go off the rails.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting the investigation at the request of Akron police. In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the FBI field office in Akron were “closely monitoring and reviewing the circumstances” surrounding Walker’s death, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Mylett praised the Walker family for their call for peaceful demonstrations.
The Akron chapter of the NAACP planned a march and rally downtown Sunday afternoon to coincide with the release of videos. Bobby DiCello, an attorney for Walker’s family, called the video “brutal.”
“It’s going to stir up some passion. It’s going to make people uneasy,” DiCello said ahead of the video’s release.