There has been outrage in the US state of Ohio after police shot Jayland Walker a 25-years-old black man, 60 times. An army of protesters have taken to the streets to demand justice and proper investigation of the killing.
The incident happened during the night-time traffic stop on June 27, and Police believe Jayland Walker opened fire first and officers feared for their lives. The eight officers involved in the shooting, seven of whom are white and one of whom is black, have been put on paid administrative leave pending investigation.
Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, described Mr. Walker’s death as “murder. Point blank”.
Family lawyer Bobby DiCello said police had fired on Mr. Walker even when he was on the ground and had handcuffed him before trying to provide first aid. About 90 shots were believed to have been fired at Walker, just as investigations suggested Walker suffered “60 to 80 wounds”.
Mr. Walker’s family said in a statement to CBS News:
“Anger is fine. Anger is understandable. Violence is not. Let’s uphold the dignity of Jayland’s life as we peacefully demand justice for him.”
On Wednesday, the death of Walker sparked small protests in Akron, while people linked the incident to several high-profile police killings of Black people in the US in recent years.
The national outrage in the US climaxed in 2020 following the passing George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, who was gruesome hacked to death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
One officer has since been convicted of murder in that incident and three others were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Walker’s aunt, Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, told reporters:
“Jayland was a sweet young man, he never caused any trouble.”
On Sunday a body camera footage was released. Police said more than 60 wounds were found on the body but more investigation will be needed to determine exactly how many rounds the eight officers fired and how many times Walker was hit.
State attorney General Dave Yost promised a “complete, fair and expert investigation” by Ohio Bureau of criminal investigation while Akron police are holding a separate internal investigation into whether officers violated departmental rules.