50 people arrested in Akron protests after police released shooting video

Andrew Dolph / Times Reporter via AP
People walk in an NAACP-led march and rally for Jayland Walker, Sunday, in Akron, Ohio.

About 50 people were arrested Monday during protests after authorities released body-camera footage of a Black man’s fatal shooting, police said.

The charges include rioting, failure to disperse and misconduct during an emergency, according to a report from Lt. Michael Miller, a spokesman for the Akron Police Department.

Police issued a curfew shortly after midnight, and dozens of people remained downtown, the report said.

The department said a group of “violent” protesters damaged businesses, restaurants and residential structures in the area. Several small fires were also set during the night.

“Officers deployed a chemical irritant to prevent further rioting and property damage,” the report said.

Mayor Daniel Horrigan (D) declared a state of emergency Monday morning.

Horrigan’s executive order said, “There is credible cause to believe that further threats of violence and unrest exist.”

The city has seen days of protests in response to the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker on June 27.

Eight Akron police officers fired dozens of rounds, killing Jayland Walker, 25, after a chase that began as a stop for traffic and equipment violations, police said.

The department released body-camera footage from all the officers involved in the shooting – the eight who fired and five “witness officers,” who did not. The videos show the car chase, during which police said Walker fired a gun, and they end in officers shooting him dozens of times in a parking lot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The city ordered a curfew scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and continue overnight to 6 a.m., until further notice. It also canceled a scheduled July Fourth fireworks event. Horrigan’s statement said there had been “significant property damage” to downtown Akron.

“Small businesses up and down Main St. have had their windows broken,” his statement said. “We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence.”

The killing has caused outrage in the city, with many residents demanding change and accountability alongside the Walker family.

City officials and attorneys for the Walkers said the family have called for peace in the community.

“If you can do anything for the family, please give peace, give dignity and give justice a chance for Jayland,” attorney Bobby DiCello said during a news conference Sunday.

Protests earlier in the day were largely peaceful.

Horrigan had already canceled the city’s July Fourth celebration, the Rib, White, & Blue Festival, which was scheduled from Friday to Monday, after the shooting last week, saying in a statement at the time that “this is not the time for a city-led celebration.”