July 3 (UPI) — Police in Ohio on Sunday released body camera footage and further details Sunday from the shooting of Jayland Walker who was killed by officers last week.
Akron Police attempted to pull over Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, for an unspecified traffic violation on Monday morning and began to pursue him when he did not stop his vehicle, the department said in a statement.
During the pursuit officers “reported a firearm being discharged from the suspect vehicle” before Walker allegedly jumped out of the car from the passenger side door as it continued to roll forward and officers began to pursue him on foot, police said.
Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said in a press conference Sunday that police went back to the scene where officers alleged hearing a gun discharged from Walker’s car.
“A casing was discovered at that location consistent with a firearm that Mr. Walker had in his vehicle, BCI will determine whether or not that casing came from the gun or not,” he said.
Walker was wearing a black ski mask over his face when exited the vehicle and reached toward his waist as officers pursued him on foot, police said in a press conference Sunday. However, no firearm was found on Walker’s body and a handgun, ammunition clip and what appears to be a gold wedding ring were found on the driver’s seat.
Officers tried to stop Walker using stun guns and opened fire after seeing the stun guns failed, police said.
Mylett said Sunday that he did not know the traffic or equipment violation cited by officers in attempting to pull Walker over.
He said that eight officers were placed on paid administrative leave as part of protocol following a police shooting and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will lead the probe of police use of force.
“When an officer makes the most critical decision in his or her life as a police officer, when they fire an arm at another human being, they have to be ready to explain why they did what they did — they need to be able to articulate why they did what they did — they need to be able to articulate what specific threats they were facing,” he said. “And that goes for every round that goes down the barrel of their gun. And they need to be held to account.”
Mylett added that all of the body camera footage from the eight officers who opened fire and five others who were at the scene would be made available following the press conference but did not provide a timeline.
It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired but Mylett said the Summit County Medical Examiner is examining more than 60 wounds to Walker’s body and determining how many were entrance wounds from bullets and how many were exit wounds.
Bobby DiCello, an attorney for Walker’s family, told The Washington Post that the eight officers fired more than 90 rounds with more than 60 striking his body.
“There are wounds on all sides and parts of his body,” said DiCello.
DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal Saturday that he reviewed the body camera footage and saw no evidence regarding the allegations that Walker shot at the officers.
“There is no stopping and turning around. There’s no making his hand into the shape of a gun. There’s no holding his cellphone. He has nothing in his hands,” DiCello said.
Speaking to reporters Sunday, DiCello said Walker’s girlfriend died a month prior to the shooting but his family did not observe any issues concerning his behavior as a result.
“I mean, he was sad, but he was getting through it and the family was just as surprised as I am today … knowing what’s happened here is a big mystery for them.”