Police Officers Who Killed Jayland Walker Are Back On The Force

Police Officers Who Killed Jayland Walker Are Back On The Force

After an Ohio grand jury declined to indict any of the officers involved in the shooting death of Jayland Walker, the eight officers who fatally shot Walker are back on the streets.

According to the Associated Press, the family is disappointed in the City of Akron for the lack of communication. Their attorney, Bobby DiCello, told WKYC-TV of their feelings of abandonment, saying city leaders “never once reached out to discuss the employment of the eight officers or explain why the officers are being reinstated.”

According to the Akron Police Department, officers tried to pull Walker over for a minor equipment violation. Walker allegedly failed to stop, and approximately 40 seconds into the chase, he fired a shot from his vehicle. Dave Yost, the Ohio Attorney General, indicated that the state’s investigation found that Walker allegedly jumped out of the moving car, ran from the police, and didn’t stop or show hands when commanded. Yost also said some of the officers used tasers to stop Walker at first, but when he reached toward his waistband, they assumed he had a gun and fired shots. 

A Summit County grand jury declined to indict the officers in April 2023, at which time Yost said, “The grand jury concluded officers were legally justified in their use of force.”

However, Yost also admitted that the body camera video was “especially grievous to watch” before ultimately justifying the grand jury’s choice by saying, “It is unusual, although hardly unprecedented, to have this many officers firing their weapon simultaneously at a single subject.

“The sheer number of shots is one of the things that makes the video so hard to watch,” Yost said. “That being said, it is critical to remember Mr. Walker had fired on the police and that he shot first.” As Black Enterprise reported, the family filed a federal lawsuit shortly following the grand jury’s choice not to indict any of the officers involved in Walker’s killing.

The NAACP requested that the Justice Department open a civil rights investigation, but the department’s only response was that they were monitoring the case. Ohio Rep. Emilia Sykes said that she would ask the Justice Department to perform a “pattern or practice” investigation of the Akron Police Department.

Another family attorney, Paige White, said of the grand jury decision, “Jayland was stopped because he was Black, he was murdered because he was Black, and there is no indictment today because he is Black.”