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Protesters are demanding justice after police killed a Black man in the US state of Ohio, with a lawyer representing the family of Jayland Walker saying the 25-year-old had been shot when his back was turned to police during the June 27 incident in the city of Akron.
The officers involved in Walker’s killing have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, with the mayor of Akron and the city’s police chief set to give an update on the incident on Sunday.
Officials are planning to release body camera footage of the incident.
Lawyer Bobby DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal that it is believed police fired as many as 90 shots at Walker, with his office’s investigation suggesting Walker suffered “60 to 80 wounds”, although he noted a single bullet can cause multiple wounds.
The lawyer, who said he had reviewed the body camera footage of the killing prior to its planned release, said his team had not seen any evidence that Walker fired at the officers.
Authorities have said Walker fled an early morning traffic stop and that officers reported a gun being fired from Walker’s vehicle, from which he ran before he was fatally shot in a nearby parking lot.
“He is just in a down sprint when he is dropped by I think the count is more than 90 shots,” DiCello told the newspaper. “Now how many of those land, according to our investigation right now, we’re getting details that suggest 60 to 80 wounds.”
His name is Jayland Walker.
8 Akron Ohio cops fired 90 bullets at him, hitting him 60 times throughout hie entire body.
The cops pulled him over for a TRAFFIC VIOLATION.
He was 25.
He was a @doordash driver.
HE WAS UNARMED.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) June 30, 2022
A police statement released after the incident maintained “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them”.
The death sparked small protests in Akron beginning on Wednesday, with many likening the incident to several high-profile police killings of Black people in the US in recent years.
The national anger reached a fever pitch in 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One officer has since been convicted of murder in that incident and three others were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Walker’s aunt, Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, told reporters: “Jayland was a sweet young man, he never caused any trouble.”
Akron protest Saturday over police shooting death of Jayland Walker is growing… https://t.co/vQaGrU57tE
— Amanda Garrett (@agarrettABJ) July 2, 2022
During a protest on Saturday, Jazzimine Beasley, the sister of Walker’s fiancee who died in a car crash last month, called for accountability.
“This was my brother,” she told the Beacon Journal. “I’m here to get justice. I’m just so angry.”
Rodderick Pounds Sr, the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Akron, said he had also been permitted to view body camera footage of the killing prior to its public release and said it did not show Walker posing a threat to the officers before he was shot.
He called the video “shocking” and said the killing was like a “massacre”.
“It’s barbaric,” Pounds said in an interview with local television station WEWS-TV.
Local elected officials have called for a federal investigation into the killing.
This content was originally published here.