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A grand jury did not indict Akron police officers in the Jayland Walker shooting


Political leaders in Akron, Ohio, are calling for calm as residents protest a grand jury's decision not to indict eight officers who last summer fatally shot 25-year-old Black man Jayland Walker. Police fired 94 shots, wounding Walker 46 times. Police say he fired a gun during a vehicle pursuit. From Ideastream Public Media, Anna Huntsman reports from Akron.

ANNA HUNTSMAN, BYLINE: The grand jurors found the eight officers legally justified in using lethal force. They reviewed evidence that showed Walker turned toward the officers while running from his car and motioned toward his waistband. Officers said they believed he was a threat to them and opened fire. Police later discovered a gun in his car, but Walker was unarmed when they shot him. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says he understands many residents are frustrated by the decision but called for protests to stay peaceful.


DAN HORRIGAN: I would ask that during these times of tension and trauma that you turn towards one another and not on each other.

HUNTSMAN: Both Horrigan and Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett expressed their condolences to the Walker family. Mylett said no one wins in this situation.


STEVE MYLETT: The jurors ultimately determined that our officers did not commit a crime when they encountered Mr. Walker. In no way does that take away from the tragedy of June 27 and the loss of such a young life.

HUNTSMAN: Mylett says his department will now conduct its own investigation to see if officers followed internal policies. The city's new civilian Police Oversight Board will be involved in that review. Voters created the panel in response to Walker's death. Meanwhile, Walker family attorney Bobby DiCello criticized Mylett's response.


BOBBY DICELLO: He needs to hear that the family of Jayland Walker's hearts have been destroyed. His body has been destroyed. And our faith in this community, its leadership, has been destroyed.

HUNTSMAN: DiCello says the family plans to file a civil suit against the city. Community groups have planned a march to police headquarters Tuesday afternoon.

For NPR News, I'm Anna Huntsman in Akron. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Anna Huntsman

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