AKRON, Ohio — Roughly 50 people were arrested overnight as protests against the shooting death of Jayland Walker by Akron police took a turn for the worse.
A group of individuals caused "substantial" property damage downtown, including smashing windows of various businesses and other buildings. Officers in riot gear deployed tear gas to break up some of the demonstrators, and there was even a fire inside a dumpster near South Main Street and Church Street.
A fire broke out in what appears to be a dumpster near South Main Street and Church Street in Downtown Akron. Officers quickly responded to the scene to break up the crowd of protesters.
Many of the city trucks that were strategically placed to block the streets from vehicle access also had their windows broken in, and police were seen at at least one vehicle guarding the plow. Officials say those who have been arrested face charges ranging from rioting to misconduct during an emergency, with not all suspects being natives of the city.
"The Akron Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies and city leaders, echoes the Walker Family's plea for peace during these challenging times ahead," Lt. Michael A. Miller said in a statement. "We respect and support a citizen’s right to peacefully protest but cannot condone violence or property destruction."
Amid the unrest, Mayor Dan Horrigan has declared a downtown curfew from 9 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. This has caused several fireworks displays as well as the scheduled Akron RubberDucks game to be either canceled or postponed.
"Early yesterday, we had several peaceful protests in the downtown footprint related to the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker," Horrigan wrote this morning. "However, as night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful. ... We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence."
Even with the incidents, there has been no indication the city plans to request help from the Ohio National Guard. Gov. Mike DeWine's office confirms the Department of Public Safety is "monitoring the situation" but that "no local request for assistance has been made at this time."
Bodycam video released Sunday showed eight Akron officers shooting Walker dozens of times. with those involved claiming they feared for their lives. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident.