Ohio cops shot dozens of times by fugitive black man, lawyer says

July 2 (Reuters) – Police killed Jayland Walker, a black Ohio man, by shooting him dozens of times as he fled from officers after a traffic stop, a lawyer for his family said, citing a review of footage from police-worn cameras. made public on Sunday.

In comments published Saturday by the Akron Beacon Journal, attorney Bobby DiCello called the video “brutal” and said those close to Walker feared the protests this weekend could turn violent.

The shooting was the latest in a string of killings of black men by law enforcement across the United States that critics say are unjustified, including the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked protests. worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

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“We’re all bracing for the community’s response, and the only message we get is that the family no longer needs violence,” DiCello said.

Akron police say Walker, 25, fired a gun at officers pursuing him. They plan to release their body camera footage after a press conference on Sunday, hours before a scheduled protest march.

“Protest is a way to mourn,” Rodderick Pounds Sr., pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Akron, said at a prayer rally on Saturday after being allowed to see the video before it was released. public.

Pounds declined to describe in detail ‘the graphic video the world is about to see’ but called the footage ‘shocking’, saying it showed Walker posed no threat when he was shot in a way the pastor likened to a “massacre”. “

“It’s barbaric,” Pounds said in an interview with local broadcaster WEWS-TV. “You will see tomorrow.

Officials said the deadly confrontation began when officers attempted to arrest Walker for a traffic violation while driving early Monday morning. Walker fled, according to the Akron Police Department, which said officers reported a gun was fired from Walker’s vehicle.

After several minutes, Walker got out of his vehicle and ran, while officers chased him on foot and shot him, saying he posed a ‘deadly threat’, the police department said in a statement on Tuesday. communicated.

Walker was pronounced dead in the parking lot where he fell. Police officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

DiCello said his team saw no evidence that Walker had fired a weapon and that police body camera footage showed him running with his back to officers when they shot him.

“He’s just in a downward sprint when he’s dropped, I think the count is over 90 shots,” DiCello told The Beacon Journal. “Now how many of these lands, according to our investigation at the moment, are we getting details that suggest 60 to 80 injuries.”

It was unclear how many bullets hit Walker because bullets can cause injuries both entering and exiting the body, DiCello said.

WJW-TV said a preliminary report from the medical examiner’s office said Walker suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head, torso and legs, and a gun was recovered from a car by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, although it did not specify which. auto.

Pounds told WEWS that Walker “didn’t have a gun when he was shot. It was in his car.”

To compound the tragedy, according to the Beacon Journal, Walker’s fiancé died in a car crash last month, though WJW quoted his family’s attorneys as saying Walker had no intention of harming himself or himself. hurt others when he was killed.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, according to the department’s statement.

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Reporting by Jason Lange and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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