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Grand Jury Won't Charge 8 Ohio Officers In Killing Of Jayland Walker

Eight Akron, Oh., police officers who fired dozens of rounds at Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, after a car and foot chase will not face criminal charges in his death after a grand jury declined to indict them, says Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the Associated Press reports. Walker’s death last June sparked protests after police released body camera footage showing him dying in a hail of gunfire. Police said he had refused to stop when they tried to pull him over for minor equipment and traffic violations. Police say Walker fired a shot from his car 40 seconds into the pursuit. Officers chased the car on a freeway and city streets until Walker bailed from the still-moving vehicle, ignored officers’ commands and ran into a parking lot where he was killed while wearing a ski mask. Authorities said he represented a “deadly threat.” A handgun and a loaded magazine were found in his car.

Yost said, “There is no doubt he did in fact shoot at police officers,” Yost said. Walker reached for his waistband as officers were chasing and raised his hand, Yost said. The officers, not knowing he left his gun in the car, believed he was firing again at them. Yost said it is critical to remember that Walker had fired at police, and that he “shot first." Walker’s family called it a brutal and senseless shooting of a man who was unarmed at the time and whose fiancee recently died. Police union officials said the officers thought there was an immediate threat of serious harm and that their actions were in line with their training and protocols. Blurry body camera footage did not clearly show what authorities say was a threatening gesture Walker made before he was shot. The eight officers, whose names have been withheld from the public, initially were placed on leave, but they returned to administrative duties three and a half months after the shooting.


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