A number of Ohio police officers are on paid leave following a chase that led to the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Black man Jayland Walker on Monday.
Officers tried to pull Walker over in a traffic stop and he led officers on a chase by car — and later by foot — prior to a confrontation, according to Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett.
The chase lasted four-and-a-half minutes and reached speeds of up to about 80 mph, police said.
Officers used “tasers” and later “fired bullets” multiple times at Walker before his death, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
The officers involved in the fatal shooting have been put on paid leave, an action described as a “standard practice” by the Akron Beacon Journal.
Mylett declined to answer questions regarding the number of officers that fired at Walker, the newspaper said.
Seven of the eight officers reportedly involved in the shooting are white, Ohio news outlet WKYC-TV reported.
Police claimed that Walker “shot a gun” during the chase and a Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office report described a weapon “recovered” from his car, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Walker wasn’t armed when he was shot by officers, sources told WKYC-TV, and autopsy records revealed he was hit “dozens of times by a barrage of more than 90 shots.”
Autopsy records revealed shots caused over 60 wounds to Walker’s body, the news outlet reported, with a “large majority” appearing in the front of his body.
“Use of force cases are always ugly. This case is ugly times 10,” a police source with knowledge of the shooting told WKYC-TV.
Walker’s aunt Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, in a press conference on Thursday, expressed her hopes that her late nephew wouldn’t be “portrayed as some thug.”
“We want honor and dignity at any cost,” Walker-Dawkins said.
“We don’t know what happened. And we’d like to know.”
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, in a press release earlier this week, announced Walker’s death was a homicide and he died from gunshot wounds.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation also plans to investigate the death per the Akron Police Department’s request, the Akron Beacon Journal said.
Walker’s death has led to protests in the Ohio community, WKYC-TV reported. The city of Akron canceled a Fourth of July weekend event amid the demonstrations.
“Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and a time of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a statement.