Updated: Jul 5
Body-camera footage shows Akron, Oh., officers firing dozens of rounds at a Black man who left his car while fleeing a traffic stop last week. Police Chief Stephen Mylett said the medical examiner’s report indicates more than 60 wounds to Jayland Walker, 25, whose killing has sparked outrage and demands for accountability. The police chief described the footage as “difficult to watch” and “shocking,” the Washington Post reports. He said he would reserve judgment until hearing from the officers. Evidence indicates that Walker fired a gun from inside his vehicle during the car chase, Mylett said. “When an officer makes the most critical decision in his or her life as a police officer, when they fire an arm at another human being, they have to be ready to explain why they did what they did — they need to be able to articulate what specific threats they were facing,” he said. “And that goes for every round that goes down the barrel of their gun. And they need to be held to account.”
Eight officers were placed on paid leave pending a probe by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Police tried to stop Walker at about 12:30 a.m. on June 27 for a traffic violation and chased him when he did not pull over. After police said a gunshot was heard coming from his vehicle, Walker jumped out of the car and ran into a parking lot, with officers following. “Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” the police department said. “In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect.” An attorney for Walker's family, Bobby DiCello, said, “It was absolutely excessive. The law requires you to use force that is reasonable.” Akron residents joined Walker’s family in demanding accountability for his death, the third police shooting in the city since December.