Akron police release bodycam video of Jayland Walker shooting
Police have released the body camera footage of the shooting death of a 25-year-old man killed by Akron police following a car and foot chase early Monday.
The video begins during the pursuit after police say they attempted to stop Jayland Walker for a traffic and equipment violation near the intersection of Thayer Street and East Tallmadge Avenue on Akron's north side shortly after midnight Monday morning.
Watch the video of the press conference here. The bodycam video of the shooting begins at 23:52. Viewer discretion is advised. The image of Walker's body is blurred in the video at the request of his family, police said.
Walker did not stop and officers initiated a pursuit, according to police. His vehicle merged on to state Route 8 heading southbound as officers gave chase, the video showed.
Less than a minute after the pursuit began, a pop can be heard on the video.
"That vehicle just had a shot come out of its door," said the officer wearing the bodycam. Police also showed images from an ODOT camera that showed a flash of light coming out of the side of Walker's car as he traveled along the highway.
The pursuit ended after Walker's vehicle exited the highway and stopped in a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Clairmont Avenue and East Wilbeth Road, according to police.
The bodycam shows a number of officers surrounding Walker's vehicle and yelling at him to get out of the car. Walker gets out of the passenger side of the vehicle and runs a short distance with a number of officers following on foot. Shortly after that, officers fire a barrage of bullets then call for a cease fire, and the video ends.
Police do not know how many times officers fired, Chief Stephen Mylett said during the press conference.
"Based on the video, I anticipate that number to be high," he said. "A lot rounds were fired, and I would not be surprised if the number at the end of the investigation is consistent with the number that has been circulating in the media."
Multiple news outlets have reported Walker was shot close to 60 times based on the medical examiner's preliminary summary. The Summit County Medical Examiner's report indicates over 60 wounds were found on Walker's body, but investigators are still working to identify entrance and exit wounds, Mylett said.
At the family's request, Walker himself is blurred in the video, and it is difficult to determine his exact movements. But police say he was wearing a ski mask.
“Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive that he posed a deadly threat to them,” according to a written statement from police.
The eight officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting, Mylett said.
After the shooting officers attempted to provide first aid, according to police. Officers attempted to put Walker in a police car to transport him to the hospital, but emergency medical personnel arrived and Walker died at the scene.
Police say they found a handgun, a loaded magazine and a wedding ring in Walker's car.
City officials met with Walker's family before the press conference to allow them to review the footage before it was released, a city media release said.
The family's attorney, Bobby DiCello spoke immediately following the release of the video. He recognized the police for releasing the video and called for peace, privacy and justice for the family.
Both city officials and Walker family representatives have begged the public for peace despite the content of the video which Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan called “shocking and hard to take in” and a family attorney called “heartbreaking.”
"Nobody should ever suffer the fate that Jayland Walker did," said Paige White, an attorney for the family. "Sunday morning, Jayland woke up in his bed and 24 hours later he was in the morgue."
"It’s not troubling. It’s beyond that. There are no words to describe it," she said of the video. "We are begging you, that family is begging you, Jayland is begging you to stay peaceful."