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Businesses clean up damage from protesters


AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Many business owners in Akron started the day early Monday to clean up the damage after some protesters became violent.

Later Monday morning, the mayor issued a curfew and canceled July 4th fireworks.

Sunday, people gathered in mostly peaceful protests to march for justice following the police killing of Jayland Walker. Once the sun went down, some protesters turned to violence, shattering windows of multiple businesses.

An area of South Main Street near Exchange Street was closed to traffic Monday so businesses could clean up. Police have not said if they made any arrests.

Jayland Walker

The protests came after police released videos of the shooting death of Jayland Walker.

The 25-year-old was killed last Monday following a police chase. Police say they tried to stop Walker for a traffic investigation. Walker did not stop, according to police, and they began pursuing his vehicle. During that pursuit, officers said Walker fired a shot from the car. A gun and bullet casing was later found in his vehicle. Eventually, Walker bailed from the car and began running. He was in a ski mask at the time. At some point, Walker turned and officers perceived him to be a threat, police say. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett admitted in the video it is not clear what led officers to fire. He said a still frame of the video showed Walker appearing to be reaching for his waistband.

Officers opened fire. Walker had over 60 wounds to his body. Police say they don’t know the number of rounds fired.

The Ohio Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting, will determine the number of times he was shot. The medical examiner is still working to determine entrance and exit wounds.

8 officers are on paid administrative leave, although it is not clear if all 8 officers fired their weapons.  Jayland was unarmed at the time.

Attorney Bobby DiCello disagrees with the police assessment of the shooting.

“As he’s just starting to make a slight turn with his head kind of back over his shoulder, he is gunned down in a hail of gunfire. His body is actually shot as he is on the ground,” DiCello said.

The Fraternal Order of Police, Akron Lodge 7, says the officers are cooperating fully with the investigation.

“We believe the independent investigation will justify the officers’ actions, including the number of shots fired,” the Akron FOP said in a statement. “The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired is consistent with use of force protocols and officers’ training.”

More protests are planned for Monday. Walker’s family has called for peace.

“We want peace. This family has had enough violence. We want dignity, we want to celebrate the life of this young man in a way that brings dignity to him and to the city and we want justice, which means a fair process, reviewing all the facts and let that process play out. We do not want violence of any kind,” DiCello said.  

It’s not clear how long the investigation will take. The case file will be made public after it is complete.

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