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Family of Jayland Walker demands accountability following fatal shooting by Akron police

Tymeca Cohen, Jayland Walker's sister, holds a sign demanding justice for her brother on Thursday outside the Akron Police Department's headquarters in downtown Akron.
Amanda Rabinowitz
Ideastream Public Media
Tymeca Cohen, Jayland Walker's sister, holds a sign demanding justice for her brother on Thursday outside the Akron Police Department's headquarters in downtown Akron.

The family of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Akron police following a car and foot chase early Monday, is calling for accountability for the officers involved.

Police say that at some point during the car chase Walker shot at them. He was killed outside his vehicle following a foot chase in which police allege Walker made a threatening action. Multiple news outlets have reported Walker was shot close to 60 times based on the medical examiner's preliminary summary.

At a news conference Thursday, the Walker family's attorney, Bobby DiCello, said they won't rest until they get answers from police.

“I'm going to say this to any police officer that wants to avoid accountability: It will not stand,” DiCello said. “We will get to the bottom of what occurred. We absolutely will. You can't take the 5th. You can't hide. You can't band together arm in arm and pretend that what just happened didn't happen or was all Jayland's fault.”

Amanda Rabinowitz
Ideastream Public Media
Protesters gathered in downtown Akron Thursday, asking for answers and doubting initial Akron police reports about the shooting death of Jayland Walker. The 25-year-old Black man was shot and killed by officers after a chase early Monday morning.

DiCello said they expect to see police body camera video in the next 24 hours.

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that Walker’s death has been ruled a homicide by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office, and that the city of Akron has asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to take on the investigation.

Members of Walker's family described him as a kind, good person. Walker's sister, Tymeca Cohen, was among a group of people who gathered outside the Akron Police Department in downtown Akron in a protest Thursday demanding answers from police.

“Justice is going be served, and we're going to get justice for him,” Cohen said, “because what they did wasn't right.”

Protesters said they doubt initial Akron police reports about Walker’s death. A woman who identified herself as a relative of Walker’s disputed officers’ claim that he fired at them.

“There was no gun,” the relative said. “Jayland did not carry guns, and I'm going to say this every day. Jayland did not carry guns.”

Following Thursday’s protest, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced the city’s Rib, White, & Blue Festival, originally scheduled for Friday through Monday, is canceled and that Lock 3 will have no activities over the holiday weekend.

“I completely understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this holiday weekend,” Horrigan said in a news release.

“Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and a time of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration.”

Glenn has worked in radio newsrooms in Ashtabula, Toledo, Newark, OH and Cleveland.
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.
Ryan Loew is the Digital News Editor for Ideastream Public Media.