AKRON, Ohio — "We don’t want anyone threatened."
That's the message from attorney Bobby DiCello who represents the family of Jayland Walker. His comments Wednesday come after Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett recently announced he authorized officers to remove their name tags due to alleged threats regarding Walker's shooting death.
“This family has given me a very, very, very, very specific task," DiCello said during a press conference Wednesday morning. "That task is to align everyone to be non-violent and to seek a peaceful and truthful investigation into what happened.”
He said they don't take any threats lightly.
“We don’t want anyone threatened," DiCello continued. "No police officer should be threatened for what took place here. We’ve had enough violence. I have been threatened. I have received death threats. My office has had to take extra security measures. I’m a little bit desensitized to this kind of thing because in this line of work, whether you’re a police officer or a lawyer who handles these cases, you get into some pretty angry water. You have to deal with that, so I hope everybody does stay safe.”
Also during Wednesday's press conference, which took place on what would have been Walker's 26th birthday, DiCello called for the Department of Justice to replace Ohio BCI in the investigation.
"This is no empty call," he said. "I’ve spoken with Sen. Sherrod Brown as recently as last night. He is facilitating our dialogue with the Department of Justice. We have reached out to Merrick Garland’s office directly. The mail should be arriving on his desk today."
Walker, who was laid to rest last Wednesday, was shot and killed on June 27 when eight Akron police officers opened fire amid an overnight chase. Police say Walker had fired a shot at one point during the vehicle pursuit, but was unarmed at the time officers opened fire as the chase continued on foot. A gun was later found in Walker's vehicle, according to police.