AKRON, Ohio — As the investigation continues regarding the shooting death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, Akron City Council offered a statement on the situation Thursday morning.
“Along with the Walker family, we seek justice in this case with the understanding that justice will only come because of a searching investigation of all the facts,” according to the Akron City Council press release. “That means we must await the results of the independent BCI investigation. We must find the strength to exercise patience and preserve peace amid the pain that we are all experiencing and allow for BCI’s review to be completed.”
Walker was shot and killed by eight officers amid an overnight chase last week. The Akron Police Department and Mayor Dan Horrigan released body camera video of the deadly shooting on Sunday.
“We commend Mayor Horrigan and Police Chief Mylett for taking the unprecedented response of engaging the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the entire incident,” Akron City Council continues in their Thursday press release. “This was the right thing to do and, we believe, should become standard practice in such circumstances.”
Akron City Council also outlined legislation regarding increased transparency and accountability in community policing (see their list at the bottom of this story).
“The City of Akron is a national leader in transparency and accountability in policing,” their press release states. “Akron took the lead in Summit County in amending its Charter with measures to promote increased transparency and accountability.”
City Council, however, also said “we recognize that more needs to be done.”
“As the legislative branch of our city’s government, Council will continue to do all that is within its power to engage in the legislative reform necessary so that Akron is a safe place to live for all its citizens. We pledge to work cooperatively with other entities to advocate for changes within their purview.”
The press release also included the following statement from Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville:
Our heartfelt sympathy and sincere condolences are extended to Jayland’s mother, Ms. Pamela Walker, sister Jada, extended family members, and friends. We are so sorry for your loss and the unimaginable pain you are experiencing at this time. Our thoughts are also with the officers involved and their families as they journey through the misfortune of being the focus of the investigation surrounding this devastating incident.
Here's the legislation as listed by Akron City Council that's aimed at "increased transparency and accountability in community policing, ensure public safety and help build trust between citizens and the police."
- R-15-2021 Approving the Report of Recommendations of the Reimaging Public Safety Special Committee
- O-159-2021 Enacting Title 3, Chapter 33, Article 3 of The Akron Code of Ordinances to Provide for Timely Release of Body Worn Camera Footage
- R-110-2021 - Supporting H.R. 1280, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, and Urging Its Passage by the U.S. Senate.
- R-168-2020 - Urging the City of Akron Police Department to Continue Its Ongoing Policies, Procedure, and Training, Which Promote Officer Accountability and Instill a Greater Confidence with the Public; Urging All State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Adopt Similar Policies, Procedures, and Training Requirements
- O-169-2020 – Amending and Supplementing Title 3 “Administration,” Chapter 35 “Employment Policies,” Section 35.17 “Prohibited Public Safety Practices” of the Akron Codified Ordinances; (Choke Hold, Strangle Hold, Neck Hold)
- O-225-2020 Proposing Charter Amendment be Placed on the November 2020 Ballot
- O-291-2015 – Authorizing an Agreement with the State of Ohio for Funding from the 2015 Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Pilot Implementation Program
- R-376-2014 - Urging Congress to Pass Legislation Enacting the "Body Worn Camera Partnership Program Proposed by President Obama
- O-382-2014 – Authorizing an Agreement with Taser International for the Lease of Body-Worn Cameras for Use by the Akron Police Department
You can read more about each of these pieces of legislation HERE.
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