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'Arrest the cops': Lawyers, activists speak following Jayland Walker's funeral

The 25-year-old Walker was laid to rest Wednesday during a service at Akron Civic Theatre.

AKRON, Ohio — Following Wednesday's funeral for Jayland Walker, his family's legal team held a press conference at the Akron Civic Theatre's Knight Stage.

Walker's cousin, Roddray Walker, joined attorneys Bobby DiCello, Ken Abbarno, and Paige White to further discuss Walker's shooting death at the hands of Akron Police. The gathering also featured several "distinguished guests" from outside Summit County, including some who explicitly called for the arrest of the officers who shot Walker.

"We need to ... reclaim the narrative, and that narrative should be 'arrest the cops,'" Tamika Mallory with Until Freedom said in her remarks. "Lock up all the cops who are responsible for taking the life of a 25-year-old young man who was unarmed at the time that he was lynched in front of the entire world."

Watch the full press conference in the player below:

Walker was killed when eight officers opened fire following a chase on June 27. Police claim Walker fired a gunshot at one point during the pursuit, but confirm he was unarmed at the time officers fired dozens of round. A gun was later found in Walker's vehicle, and the officers involved said he made a motion that made them fear for their lives.

The Akron Police Department has placed all of the involved officers on leave, per protocol, but has yet to release their names to the public. DiCello called on officials to not only put those names out for all to see, but to acknowledge regret for Walker's death.

"Where is the public apology?" DiCello asked. "We need more from the city leadership and we need that dialogue to start immediately, and speaking of immediate dialogue, we need policy change now."

Per the attorneys, the Walker family has asked the United Nations to look into the case. The DiCello Levitt Gutzler later provided this statement to 3News

"The United Nations International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement reports to the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in September of 2022 and the UN's General Assembly. Their job is to make an expert inquiry into the shooting and advance racial justice and equality for Africans and people of African descent in the context of law enforcement."

Walker's funeral marked a seminal moment in what has been an emotional two weeks for the Akron community, with loved one pledging to "get through this storm with your thoughts and prayers." Roddray Walker echoed those sentiments following the service, while still grieving the loss of his cousin and calling for justice.

"I'm tired of sitting on the sideline and being a spectator," he said. "We're going to get through this, but we need to see changes."

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the probe into Walker's death, with DiCello claiming state officials have already begun taking statements from those involved. Downtown Akron also remains under a nightly curfew from 11 p.m.-5 a.m. after some protests led to several arrests and property damage.

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