3rd July, 2022
Another round of outrage has erupted in America after a Black man, Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio, was killed by police as he ran away following a traffic stop.
According to Robert Dicello, lawyer to Walker’s family, police shot at Walker at least 60 times during the incident on Monday.
The lawyer cited police body-camera video that he viewed.
Akron Police Department said in a Tuesday statement that its officers attempted to stop 25-year-old Walker at 12:30 a.m. for a traffic violation and conducted a pursuit after he refused to stop.
After a few minutes, Walker slowed down and left his car while it was still in motion and ran away from police, according to the statement.
The statement said Walker ran into a parking lot, and “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them.”
Officers shot him 100 times, with the bullets hitting him 60 times.
They then called for medical services, but Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement.
Bobby DiCello, the attorney for Walker’s family, told the Akron Beacon Journal in an interview published Friday evening that Walker does not appear to have gestured toward the officers in a threatening way, based on the body-cam video he viewed.
He said officers appear to have fired dozens of shots at Walker while he was fleeing with nothing in his hands.
The police department said in its statement that the officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with departmental procedure. It did not name them.
DiCello did not immediately return a request from The Hill for comment.
DiCello said the video shows an officer calmly telling dispatchers about chasing Walker at 12:30 a.m. after police attempted to stop him.
The police department’s statement says that officers reported a firearm being discharged from Walker’s car while they pursued it.
But DiCello questioned that, telling the Journal that the back windshield of Walker’s car was undamaged, meaning a shot was not fired directly backward.
“And I’ve got to emphasize there is no evidence that we’ve been shown, or that we’ve found, or that we know of that says that the young man somehow while driving away from the officers pointed his gun at the officers,” he said.
He added that police say an Ohio Department of Transportation traffic video shows gunfire coming from Walker’s car, but his legal team has not found that evidence as of yet.
DiCello told The New York Times that the city’s police chief told him in a meeting that he has not found evidence of anything Walker did that would put the officers involved in the incident, in the lawyer’s words, “in fear” or require them to shoot.
He said the chief also told him that two officers tried to use stun guns on Walker moments before the shooting began.
Walkers death was being contrasted by rights activists with the way police in Kentucky handled a white man, Lance Storz, who killed three policemen.
Lance Storz from Prestonburg also killed a K9 dog and wounded five other cops in Prestonburg, Eastern Kentucky with a heavy rifle on Thursday, while the police attempted to serve a warrant.
He was arrested alive without a scratch.