By Stacy Brown,
NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
Authorities recently released disturbing bodycam footage of Jayland Walker’s death at the hands of Akron, Ohio police officers. Walker was an unarmed Black DoorDash delivery driver with no criminal record when he died in a hail of bullets.
The lawyer for the 25-year-old’s family called it an execution, telling media members that police fired 90 shots, hitting the young man “60 to 80 times.”
Video footage of the death was released by Akron Police on July 3.
In the video, narrated and edited to include notes in between the recorded footage, police allege that on June 27 Walker escalated a routine traffic stop by driving away, causing police to follow in hot pursuit.
As the video rolls, several officers are seen approaching Walker’s vehicle with their guns drawn after the high-speed police chase. Walker has a ski mask on. Police allege that he reached toward his waist during the short foot chase and turned toward pursuing police officers.
Police Chief Stephen Mylett claimed that’s when officers opened fire.
In the video footage of the incident, police say “a flash of light can be seen on the driver’s side of the suspect vehicle,” which they allege is a gunshot fired by Walker. Mylett said a weapon was found in Walker’s car, but it wasn’t clear if it was discharged.
Mylett admitted that Walker didn’t exit the car with a gun. Video footage shows what happened after he left the vehicle and attempted to run away on foot. Within seconds, Walker is shot down, but the bullets don’t stop.
The eight officers directly involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
While handcuffed and bleeding profusely from his wounds, Mylett claimed officers attempted to provide lifesaving help for Walker.
“It was difficult to watch, and shocking,” Mylett stated. “I’m not going to pass judgment.”
The chief and Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan commended Walker’s family for calling for peaceful demonstrations.
“The video is heartbreaking, it’s hard to take in,” Horrigan said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the FBI field office in Akron issued joint statements noting that they were “closely monitoring and reviewing the circumstances.”
“The FBI continues to coordinate with state and local partners to provide resources and specialized skills,” officials wrote in the statement. “If the evidence reveals potential violations of federal criminal statutes, the Justice Department will take appropriate action.”
In an attempt to quell tensions, Horrigan announced the cancellation of Akron’s Fourth of July Festival.
Walker’s family attorney Bobby DiCello called for a federal investigation.
“The is brutal,” DiCello asserted. “It’s going to stir up some passion. It’s going to make people uneasy.”
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