AKRON, Ohio — Protesters use different chants to honor what's usually a special day in someone's life. If he were alive, Jayland Walker would be 26 today.
"This for us is more about unity or the greatest commandment of all, which is love, and that's what I'm hoping people can see" organizer Ariel Faith said.
Snacks, cupcakes and pizzas stacked high greet the firestone park community.
The party is meant to create unity, get neighbors talking and keep Walker's name at top of mind.
"The Chief of Police said 'oh, protesters are calming down.' I'm still very angry about this. I'm not going to riot, I'm not going to do anything illegal, but hey, we're about to have a birthday party for him," Organizer Tara Gibson said.
Wednesday, at a press conference, the Walker family attorney acknowledged the significance of Jayland's birthday, while calling for the Department of Justice to take over the investigation currently being handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
"These questions raise enormous concerns for the integrity of an investigation that the entire world is watching. For the integrity of an investigation that a city and a state depend on," Walker family Attorney Robert DiCello said.
But even with that message, his Mom made time to remember the favorite birthday party she threw for a young Jayland Walker.
At the time, he loved the WWE and Stone Cold Steve Austin, so she had an impersonator show up to his party.
The memory of Walker and his friends reactions something she's finding a little joy in Wednesday.
Frozen in their steps, their eyes were big and their mouths dropped to the ground," Pamela Walker said.