Ohio police are expected to release body camera footage and additional details Sunday on the shooting of a Black motorist, which led to eight officers being placed on leave.
Akron police officers said that they attempted to pull over 25-year-old Jayland Walker last week on unspecified traffic violation and were forced to chase him when he didn’t pull over, according to a statement from the department. Police said officers “reported a firearm being discharged from the suspect vehicle” during their pursuit early Monday morning.
Walker then allegedly jumped out of his car and officers chased him on foot, police said.
“Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” police said. “In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect.”
Walker’s family has questioned the use of deadly force against the 25-year-old. An attorney for the family, Bobby DiCello, told the Akron Beacon Journal on Saturday that he reviewed the body camera footage with the family.
DiCello said he has not seen any evidence yet regarding allegations Walker shot at officers, and that Walker was fleeing from police when they shot at him.
“He is just in a down sprint when he is dropped by I think the count is more than 90 shots,” DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal. “Now how many of those land, according to our investigation right now, we’re getting details that suggest 60 to 80 wounds.”
Citing autopsy photos and interviews with police sources, NBC affiliate WKYC reported that Walker was hit dozens of times. NBC News has not obtained a copy of the autopsy.
The family worries that protests may turn violent after the public sees the “brutal” footage, DiCello said.
Protesters have peacefully demonstrated in Akron for days, demanding more transparency and accountability in Walker’s death. Eight officers were placed on administrative leave as part of protocol of a police shooting, the department said.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will lead the probe of police use of force.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan cancelled the city’s Fourth of July festivities amid the ongoing protests and investigation, saying now “is not the time for a city-led celebration.”
Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.
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