AKRON, Ohio — As he announced he would last week, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett held their first daily press conference to address the police officer-involved shooting death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker on Monday.
You can rewatch the press briefing in the video player above, as well as on WKYC's YouTube page.
In addition to the briefings, the city said that it plans to launch an incident website. According to a release, the site will "provide the most up to date safety information for downtown and beyond. It will also serve as a collective hub for all the information available to the public in relation to the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker which occurred in Akron on Monday, June 27, 2022."
“I know that the situation in Akron is ever-evolving, and our community needs to have the most up to date information as quickly as possible,” Mayor Horrigan said in a release. “Our new dedicated site and these daily briefings will help us better commit to our promise of transparency and allow our residents to have a clearer understanding of exactly what is happening as it occurs. I know Akron is hurting right now and there are a lot of questions in our communities. The easier we can make it for everyone to access information and get answers, the better.”
The incident involving Walker took place just after midnight on Monday, June 27, when officers attempted to pull over his car for a traffic and equipment violation. Walker proceeded to lead the officers on a high-speed chase down East Tallmadge Avenue toward State Route 8.
At some point during the pursuit, police say that Walker fired a gun out of the window of his car. Among the footage released last Sunday was a traffic video that showed a flash coming out of Walker’s car that they say is consistent with a gunshot.
Following the six-minute-long chase, Walker exited the car on Wilbeth Road near the Bridgestone Tire offices while wearing a black ski mask. The footage shows officers attempting to deploy non-lethal tasers before firing their guns and striking Walker, who was unarmed at the time of the shooting. While Horrigan couldn't confirm how man shots were fired at Walker, he said that he expected the number to be "high" and that the initial medical reports showed that he had 60 bullet wounds.
Police said that they fired their guns because Walker made a motion that caused them to fear for their lives. Mylett said that while it is difficult to see in a real-time viewing of the video, screen captures from the footage show Walker making multiple movements -- including Walker moving his hand to his waist area, turning toward the officers and making a forward motion with his arm -- that he said that each officer involved believed to be Walker moving into a “firing” position.
A gun, magazine round, and gold wedding ring were found in the passenger seat of Walker’s car. Mylett said that officers attempted to perform life-saving aid at the scene before Walker was pronounced dead.
Per department policy, the officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. Seven of the eight officers involved were white and none had previously faced work-related discipline. Walker is Black.
The incident is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
In the days following the incident and release of the bodycam footage, protests in the Akron area have resulted in several arrests and prompted Horrigan to implement multiple curfews in the downtown area. On Monday, the City of Akron announced that no arrests occurred over the weekend as a result of protests or demonstrations.