The police department in Akron, Ohio, has released the police body cam footage from the night of June 27 when they shot and killed DoorDash driver Jayland Walker, an unarmed Black man. The video shows police firing 90 rounds of bullets at Walker, hitting him 60 times in what has been described as an “execution-style” shooting.
Walker, 25, was pulled over for equipment and traffic violations. Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said Walker fired at the police and fled on foot. At one point, Mylett said during a press conference, Walker quickly turned toward officers and motioned toward his “waist area.” Police feared Walker had a gun. However, the police chief confirmed that Walker was unarmed after fleeing his car, The New York Times reported.
Body camera videos came from 13 officers who were at the scene. In all, eight police officers pursued and shot at Walker, who had no criminal record and had just one traffic ticket.
A handgun was later found in Walker’s car, which police said he fired before fleeing on foot. Police did not address whether the handgun in the car was loaded or unloaded but said there was a loaded magazine on the seat, CNN reported.
A photo released by the police showed a handgun on the seat, along with a gold ring. Walker’s girlfriend died recently in a car accident, CNN reported.
Bobby DiCello, a lawyer for the Walker family, said Jayland had recently obtained the gun. “Jayland was not familiar with firearms, and we do not know if it accidentally fired,” he said. “But police did find no bullets in the handgun when they found it in the car after his death.”
The officers directly involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave according to department policy, the police confirmed.
The release of the videos sparked protests in downtown Akron and outrage on social media.
“The police officers who shot at #JaylandWalker 90 times, with 60 shots hitting his body, are threats to humanity and must be arrested and charged…,” tweeted Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
She later tweeted her official statement as CEO of The King Center.
That statement read in part, “Our nation’s fascination with the application of deadly force to apprehend Black bodies must stop. This militaristic ‘shoot now and ask questions later’ mentality when policing Black people cannot continue.”
“Here is body cam footage of the race soldiers from Akron PD, committing a vile, racial execution of #JaylandWalker There is ZERO ZERO ZERO justification for this type of excessive, and unconstitutional execution. Black people are going to have to produce justice against this,” tweeted filmmaker activist Tariq Nasheed.
The Akron Police union is supporting the officers involved in the shooting, saying their actions were justified, “including (with) the number of shots fired,” according to a statement by the Fraternal Order of Police Akron Lodge No. 7, CNN reported.
“The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired is consistent with use of force protocols and officers’ training,” the statement said.
Photo: Jayland Walker, center, and family. Screenshot from Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC Channel 3 YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib1pgPD_K6Y