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Redacted personnel records reveal backgrounds of Akron police officers who fatally shot Jayland Walker

Four of the eight officers have military backgrounds, while three have Bachelor's degrees. None of the eight officers had previously faced work-related discipline.

AKRON, Ohio — 3News has obtained the personnel records of the eight Akron police officers who fatally shot Jayland Walker last month. The records reveal the backgrounds of the officers, as well as their performance reviews. 

The personnel files of the officers, which were heavily redacted, were obtained by 3News after a public records request. The Akron Police Department is currently withholding the officers' names.

Four of the eight officers have military backgrounds, while three have Bachelor's degrees. None of the eight officers had previously faced work-related discipline. All are currently on paid administrative leave per department policy.

The longest tenured of the eight officers is the individual identified as "Officer 2," who joined the Akron Police Department in 2016 after serving in the the U.S. Coast Guard. The officer received either satisfactory, very good, or outstanding ratings in his performance review.

"Officer 1," a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, was a supervisor's top-ranked officer for number of traffic stops with 277 in one year. One of the incidents included a case where the officer apprehended a suspect who fled in a car chase, recovering a 30-round magazine. The same officer was also selected to be an alternate field training officer because of excellent performance.

Four of the eight officers joined the Akron police force at the same time in 2019. All of their evaluations say they are progressing as officers as expected. "Officer 8," the lone female of the group, joined the department last year after serving with the Canfield Police Department for seven years. 

Seven of the eight officers are white, while one is Black.

The shooting happened in the overnight hours of June 27 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 when the chase was continued on foot. A gun was later found in Walker's vehicle, according to police.

The Summit County Medical Examiner determined that there were 46 graze/entrance wounds to Walker's body. The toxicology screening was negative for drugs and alcohol. Roughly 90 shots were fired by the officers. 

The probe into Walker's death is being led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a division of the state attorney general's office. Attorney General Dave Yost says that a typical officer-involved shooting investigation requires at least 400 hours to complete. "That means weeks, sometimes months of painstaking work," he added. Once completed, BCI will then refer the case to the Summit County Prosecutor's Office and a grand jury, although Yost says his office has been asked to serve as special prosecutor moving forward.

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