Sev dies from a hail of bullets. A New Criticism of US Police
The death of George Floyd shocked the world in May 2020. Police violence against black people in the US is still a ubiquitous topic. Now a case from Ohio causes confusion.
The death of a black man by police bullets in the state of Ohio has caused new confusion in the United States two years after the death of George Floyd.
Akron Police have released several videos of the June 27 police operation. Officers’ body camera footage shows 25-year-old Jayland Walker being killed by dozens of gunshots after a police chase. According to the police, he was not armed at the time. Deadly police actions of a similar nature occur time and time again in the United States.
Police Chief Stephen Millett said Walker’s body showed more than 60 gunshot wounds after a forensic examination. At first, however, it was not clear how often the 25-year-old was hit, because, according to Maillet, it could be gunshot or bullet injuries. The visibly injured police chief expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.
Officers wanted to stop Walker for a traffic violation, police said. The 25-year-old did not stop. During the pursuit, the police said that the suspect fired from a moving vehicle. a handgun and loaded magazine were later found in the driver’s seat.
In the end, the man with a ski mask continued to run away on foot. Officers initially tried unsuccessfully to stop him with Tasers. The suspect stopped in the parking lot and addressed the police officers. Then they would shoot.
The case of George Floyd is representative of violence against black people in brutal police actions. In May 2020, an unarmed African-American man died in a police operation in Minneapolis. Videos of passers-by document how the police push him to the ground. White officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes while Floyd begged him to breathe. The case led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racism. Since then, there has always been concern about such incidents.
“People want and deserve answers”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has promised a full investigation into Walker’s death. “People want and deserve answers, and they should get them,” Yost said. At the same time, he warned against making hasty conclusions. Body camera recordings are only part of the big picture. He assured that the investigation file will be published after the case is closed.
Protests have erupted in Akron against the deadly police action against Walker. Local TV station WKYC reported that police fired tear gas near the city’s Justice Center after protesters knocked over barricades there. Television images showed protesters holding signs reading “Black Lives Matter” or “Jail Killer Cops” (roughly translated as “Put killer cops in jail”).
Mayor. “It is very difficult to bear.”
Mayor Dan Horrigan called on the residents of the city to maintain peace. He called the footage from the police body camera “heartbreaking”. “It is very difficult to accept,” he said at the press conference. The deceased’s mother, Pamela Walker, also spoke on local television. “I can only say that I have never been so sad in my life,” he said. “Why did this happen, in such a horrible way?”
US Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio called Walker’s death a “tragedy”. He wrote on Twitter: “This is every black parent’s worst fear of what a traffic stop could become.” Police initially said in a news release last week that the suspect’s behavior led officers to believe he posed a deadly threat to them.
Police chief Millet said. “We do not know the exact number of shots fired.” The media reported about 90 shots. Millett said that could be realistic. Eight police officers were “directly involved.” They went on vacation while the incident is being investigated. “A routine traffic stop that would likely lead to a warning or a prosecution that turns into a ticket,” Millett said.
“His body is covered in bullets, his face is covered in bullets (…) it’s an unbelievable sight,” the family’s attorney, Bobby DiCello, told the Beacon Journal. In his 22 years as a lawyer, he has never experienced anything like this. He also questioned whether Walker actually shot the car as he was fleeing. Police claimed that a gunshot was heard and at the same time “a flash of light was observed by the driver of the suspect vehicle.”