Police in Akron, Ohio, have released heartbreaking body camera footage showing an unarmed 25-year-old black man being shot more than 60 times by police.
“I won’t mince my words, the video you are about to watch is heartbreaking,” Akron mayor Dan Horrigan said at a news conference Sunday. “I urge all our residents to retain your full judgment until our investigation is complete.”
The bodycam videos shown on Sunday begin with officers chasing Jayland Walker in their police cars around 12:30 p.m. Monday after he refused to stop for an alleged traffic violation. Police said about 40 seconds after he fled, officers heard “the sound of a gunshot” coming from the door of his car.
The chase continued for several minutes before Walker, wearing a ski mask, got out of his silver Buick through the passenger door and fled on foot. Police said officers tried unsuccessfully to apprehend him with tasers and the chase continued to a nearby parking lot.
There, Walker “turned quickly to the pursuing officers” and unleashed a barrage of gunfire at him, police said. The disturbing body-camera footage shows Walker collapsing quickly to the ground as countless shots reverberate.
Police Chief Stephen Mylett confirmed on Sunday that Walker was “unarmed” when he was killed. Police found a handgun, a loaded magazine and a gold ring on the driver’s seat of his car.
Walker still had a pulse when officers tried to load him into the police car, Mylett added. He couldn’t say how many bullets were fired, but Walker had at least 60 wounds to his body.
Horrigan acknowledged how horrific the images were and urged residents to protest peacefully.
“I fully support the right of our citizens to assemble peacefully,” the mayor said at the press conference. “But I hope the community agrees that violence and destruction are not the answer.”
Since the murder of Walker on June 27, the eight police officers involved in Akron have been placed on leave and the city has canceled the festivities on July 4. Protesters have surrounded city buildings, demanding justice and the release of the body camera images.
Walker’s family lawyer said he died after being shot nearly 100 times, and they have demanded police take witness statements from the officers involved in the shooting. The officers are not identified by name.
“The Walker family is praying for peace, they are asking for peace, they are praying for accountability,” one of the lawyers said after the images were released Sunday afternoon. “We can’t villain Jayland.”
“We’re done dying like this,” attorney Paige White said. “No one should ever suffer the fate that Jayland Walker endured.”