By Gaelen Morse and Gabriella Borter AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) – The family of a Black man killed by police is bracing for the release of body camera video later on Sunday that their attorney says shows Akron, Ohio, police fired 90 times at Jayland Walker as he fled after a traffic stop. The attorney for […]
Video will show Ohio officers kill fleeing Black man in hail of bullets, family lawyer says
By Gaelen Morse and Gabriella Borter
AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) – The family of a Black man killed by police is bracing for the release of body camera video later on Sunday that their attorney says shows Akron, Ohio, police fired 90 times at Jayland Walker as he fled after a traffic stop.
The attorney for the Walker family, Bobby DiCello, called the video “brutal” in comments published on Saturday by the Akron Beacon Journal. He said Walker’s relatives are worried that protests could turn violent when the video is released after a 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) news conference by the city’s mayor and police chief.
The shooting, which occurred on Monday, was the latest in a spate of killings of Black men by law enforcement in the United States that critics say are racist and unjustified, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis that ignited global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
“We’re all bracing for the community’s response, and the one message that we have is the family does not need any more violence,” DiCello said.
The Akron NAACP was planning a peaceful rally at Akron City Hall after the police news conference and video release Sunday afternoon.
Officials have said the deadly confrontation began when officers tried to stop 25-year-old Walker for a traffic violation while he was driving early Monday morning. Walker fled, according to the Akron Police Department, which said officers reported a gun being fired from Walker’s vehicle.
After several minutes Walker exited his vehicle and ran, while officers chased him on foot and fired at him, saying he presented a “deadly threat,” the police department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Walker was pronounced dead in the parking lot where he fell.
DiCello said his team has not seen any evidence Walker fired a weapon and that police body-camera footage showed him running with his back to officers when they gunned him down.
“He is just in a down sprint when he is dropped by – I think the count is more than 90 shots,” DiCello told the Beacon Journal. “Now how many of those land, according to our investigation right now, we’re getting details that suggest 60 to 80 wounds.”
It was not clear how many bullets struck Walker because bullets can cause wounds both entering and exiting the body, DiCello said.
Television station WJW-TV said a preliminary report from the medical examiner’s office found Walker sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his head, torso and legs, and that a weapon was recovered from a car by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, though it did not specify which car.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the department’s statement said.
(Reporting by Gaelen Morse in Akron, Ohio, and Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)