Ohio Police Department is expected to release body camera images and additional details on Sunday about the shooting of a black motorist, which placed eight officers on leave.
Akron police officers said they tried to stop 25-year-old Jayland Walker for an unspecified traffic violation last week and were forced to chase him when he failed to stop, according to a statement from the department. Police said officers “reported a firearm being unloaded from the suspect vehicle early Monday morning during their pursuit”.
Walker would then have jumped out of his car and officers followed him on foot, police said.
“Through the actions of the suspect, the officers realized that he posed a deadly threat to them,” the police said. “In response to this threat, officers fired their firearms and beat the suspect.”
Walker’s family has questioned the use of deadly force against the 25-year-old. A lawyer for the family, Bobby DiCello, told the Akron Beacon Journal on Saturday that he and the family viewed the images from the body camera.
DiCello said he has yet to see any evidence regarding allegations that Walker shot at officers and that Walker was on the run from police when they shot at him.
“He’s just in a sprint down when he’s dropped. I think the count is over 90 shots,” DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal. “Now, how many of those countries, according to our research at the moment, we’re getting details that indicate 60 to 80 wounds.”
quote autopsy photos and interviews with police sources, NBC affiliate WKYC reported that Walker was hit dozens of times. NBC News has not received a copy of the autopsy.
The family is concerned that protests could turn violent after the public sees the “cruel” footage, DiCello said.
Protesters have demonstrated peacefully in Akron for days, demanding greater transparency and accountability over Walker’s death. Eight officers were placed on administrative leave as part of the protocol of a police shooting, the department said.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will lead the investigation into police use of force.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan canceled the city’s July 4 festivities amid ongoing protests and investigation, saying now is “not the time for a city-led celebration.”