( Akron, Ohio ) - One week after the deadly, officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, Akron Police held a news conference to release bodycam footage.
Both Police Chief Stephen Mylett and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan expressed condolences to the Walker family, describing the now-public footage as "heartbreaking" and "difficult to watch." They're asking the public to be patient and to reserve full judgement until the investigation is complete. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the look into what happened.
In a report aired on WTAM partner 3News, police bodycam footage from the early morning hours of June 27 shows officers engaging in a car chase with a vehicle allegedly driven by Walker that refused to pull over for a traffic stop. Shortly after getting onto Ohio State Route 8, police say Walker fired a gunshot out the driver's side window. "That changes the whole nature of the traffic stop. It went from being a routine traffic stop to now a public safety issue," said Chief Mylett. The chief says an ODOT camera in the area captured the muzzle flash coming from Walker's car.
After four and a half minutes of pursuit, Walker runs from the car, and officers chase him on foot. They try to use their Tasers, and when Walker turns and allegedly makes a forward motion with his hand, eight officers fire dozens of gunshots, killing him. Investigators say the medical examiner has yet to determine how many bullets struck Walker. The chief wouldn't comment whether or not the number of gunshots was excessive.
A gun, a loaded magazine, and a gold wedding ring were allegedly found in Walker's car after the shooting, and investigators say they found a shell casing in the area where the shot was allegedly fired from the fleeing vehicle.
Chief Mylett stressed that every procedure is being followed and that the investigation by the Ohio BCI will be conducted independently. He also warned of the dangers of spreading misinformation.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and NBA superstar, Akron native, LeBron James posted statements online:
Following the news conference, protesters marched and chanted in the streets of Akron. Once the sun went down, police started responding to scattered reports of property damage. The Akron Beacon Journal reports some protesters stopped people from committing further damage.
Police and Summit County SWAT responded and kept things from getting out of hand. Smoke bombs and tear gas was reportedly deployed.
The protesters largely dispersed not long after midnight.