WASHINGTON, July 2 — Angry activists on Friday rallied in the city of Akron in the Midwestern United States following yet another police shooting death of a Black man earlier this week.
Jayland Walker, 25, was shot and killed Monday, after officers tried to stop his car over a traffic violation, the police department in the city of Akron, Ohio said.
But Walker drove off and fired a shot as police engaged in a car chase, which lasted several minutes. He eventually got out of his car, while it was still moving, and fled on foot.
Several officers finally chased Walker to a parking lot, where “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” leading them to open fire, the police statement said.
Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials have provided few details of the shooting, promising to release body-cam video from the scene soon, but local media have reported that dozens of shots were fired.
“Jayland was a sweet young man, he never caused any trouble,” his aunt Lajuana Walker-Dawkins told reporters.
“This is not a monster. This is not a man who ever caught a crime in his life,” said attorney Bobby DiCello, who represents Walker’s family.
He told the Washington Post that it was unclear why Walker had fled the police.
The incident was the latest death of an African American citizen at the hands of police, events that have sparked mass protests over racism social justice and police brutality.
Small demonstrations were held in Akron in recent days and a bigger rally was scheduled for Sunday.
Fearing potential unrest, authorities in the city of 190,000 people moved snowploughs and other heavy equipment near the police department to serve as a barrier, according to local media.
Authorities also cancelled a festival planned for the July 4th weekend. — AFP