Jayland Walker death: Grand jury declines to indict Ohio officers in killing of unarmed Black man

Jayland Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance or graze wounds, according to an autopsy

ByEric Levenson, CNN, CNNWire
Monday, April 17, 2023
Grand jury declines to indict Ohio cops in killing of Jayland Walker
How many times was Jayland Walker shot? A grand jury declined to indict Akron police officers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man.

A special grand jury in Ohio declined to indict the Akron police officers who fatally shot Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, dozens of times after a car chase last year, CNN reported.

The grand jury concluded the officers were legally justified in their use of force, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

SEE ALSO | Jayland Walker's sister speaks out on his fatal shooting by Akron police

Walker was unarmed at the time he was killed, according to police, though officers said he fired a gun from his vehicle during the car chase. A gun was found in his vehicle after the shooting, police said.

Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance or graze wounds, according to an autopsy by Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler.

His death prompted an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, along with protests over racial injustice and police use of force -- a few of which erupted into violence, resulting in damage to local businesses, Akron police said.

READ MORE | Jayland Walker's mother speaks out on son's fatal shooting by police

A week after the shooting, police released a narrated video timeline of the shooting featuring parts of body camera videos from 13 officers at the scene.

About 40 seconds after Walker drove away from police, "a sound consistent with a gunshot can be heard on the body-worn cameras of the officers," police said in the video's narration -- and officers told dispatch a gunshot had been fired from Walker's vehicle.

Police also shared still images taken from traffic cameras that showed "a flash of light" -- purportedly a muzzle flash -- along the driver's side of the car.

After several minutes, Walker's vehicle slowed and Walker exited and ran, police said. Several police officers got out of their patrol cars and chased him, and officers deployed Tasers to stop him, police said, but were unsuccessful.

SEE ALSO | Families of police brutality victims gather to turn 'grief into action'

Moments later, police said, Walker "stopped and quickly turned towards the pursuing officers." Akron Police chief Stephen Mylett told reporters officers believed Walker was reaching towards his waist and they "felt that Mr. Walker had turned and was motioning and moving into a firing position," Mylett said, and officers opened fire, killing him.

Eight police officers "directly involved" in the shooting were initially placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, Mylett said.

However, they were reinstated by October 10, a decision Mylett attributed to "staffing issues" in comments to CNN affiliate WEWS. While back at work, the officers were not in uniform or responding to service calls, the Akron Police Department said.

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