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About 50 people arrested after Jayland Walker protests turn destructive

Jayland Walker protest
Jack Helbig
/
Ideastream Public Media
Storefronts were vandalized, planters overturned and a dumpster set on fire after protests sparked by the police killing of Jayland Walker turned destructive.

About 50 people were arrested early Monday morning in downtown Akron for rioting and other charges after police say they did not leave the area after a curfew was issued.

The arrests came after the release of a bodycam video that shows the July 27th shooting death of Jayland Walker, 25, at the hands of eight Akron police officers. Protests that have remained peaceful all week, turned destructive overnight despite pleas from Walker's family and city officials for peace.

Police said in a media release that there were dozens of people who did not leave downtown after the city issued the curfew shortly after midnight Monday morning.

While the majority of protestors were peaceful, police say a group of violent people emerged from the group of protestors and caused substantial damage to several businesses, restaurants and residential structures.

Damage included smashed windows and overturned plantstands, police said. At some point during the disturbance a dumpster was set alight and several other small fires were ignited. The fires were quickly contained and extinguished, the release said.

Around 1 a.m., a crowd flanked by a number of police officers gathered near the intersection of West Exchange and South Main Streets, according to an Ideastream contributor on the scene. Vandals broke out glass storefront windows that abut the street and police fired tear gas cannisters.

Akron police, Summit County Sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement personnel "coordinate a targeted response and quickly converged on those causing the damage to bring the situation under control," the release said.

The approximately 50 people were charged with rioting, failure to disperse and misconduct during an emergency, the release said. Among those charged were Akron residents and people from other nearby cities and counties, according to the release.

The Akron Police Department, city officials and the Walker family have repeatedly asked for peace.

"We respect and support a citizen's right to peacefully protest but cannot condone violence or property destruction," the release said.

Jack Helbig contributed to this report.

Stephanie is the digital producer of Ideastream Public Media’s health team.