AKRON: Video released on Sunday showed eight police officers in Akron, Ohio, were involved in a shooting that killed an unarmed Black man whose body was found with some 60 gunshot wounds after he fled a traffic stop last week.
Police played multiple videos at a news conference, one of which they said shows a gunshot being fired from the car driven by Jayland Walker, 25, who was being pursued by officers.
Walker jumped out of the car and ran away from police, the video showed. Police say it appears he was turning toward officers, who at the time believed he was armed. A gun was later recovered from his car.
The attorney for the Walker family, Bobby DiCello, had cautioned that the video was “brutal,” in comments published on Saturday by the Akron Beacon Journal. He said Walker’s relatives are worried that protests could turn violent.
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The shooting was the latest in a spate of killings of Black men by law enforcement in the United States that critics say are racist and unjustified, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis that ignited global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
“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,” DiCello said.
The Akron NAACP was planning a peaceful rally at Akron City Hall after the police news conference and video release Sunday afternoon.
Walker was pronounced dead in the parking lot where he fell.
DiCello said his team has not seen any evidence Walker fired a weapon and that police body-camera footage showed him running with his back to officers when they gunned him down.
“He is just in a down sprint when he is dropped by – I think the count is more than 90 shots,” DiCello told the Beacon Journal. “Now how many of those land, according to our investigation right now, we’re getting details that suggest 60 to 80 wounds.”
It was not clear how many bullets struck Walker because bullets can cause wounds both entering and exiting the body, DiCello said.
Television station WJW-TV said a preliminary report from the medical examiner’s office found Walker sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his head, torso and legs, and that a weapon was recovered from a car by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, though it did not specify which car.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the department’s statement said.