Why The Ohio Officers Who Killed Jayland Walker Will Not Be Charged

A grand jury said his firing of a weapon justified deadly force, but that angered his family

Despite the hopes of his family and local activists, eight Akron, Ohio police officers will not face charges in the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker, which took place last June, reports CBS News.

On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that the officers' actions were found to be justified in the June 22, 2022 shooting after convening a special grand jury last week. Jurors reached the decisions after five days of deliberation.

According to dash camera footage and the officers testimony, Walker fired a gun out of his vehicle while being pursued by law enforcement.

"The law allows officers to use deadly force to defend themselves or others against a deadly threat," Yost said at the news conference.

Although he believes that the officers were justified in their use of deadly force, Yost described the incident as a tragedy.

"I grieve the loss of this promising young life, though I recognize no words of mine will offer comfort to the family,"  Yost added.

4 Things To Know About Ohio Police Shooting Victim Jayland Walker

The Pursuit

Yost said that the pursuit of Walker began when police discovered him driving with a broken taillight and a broken light on his rear license plate. Around 10 minutes later, the officers decided to pursue Walker for the vehicle violations after seeing him driving in the same intersection.

After pursuing his vehicle, Walker left the still-moving vehicle and was eventually killed by officers on the scene who claimed that he represented a "deadly threat." Following the incident, a handgun and loaded magazine was found on the driver's seat of the vehicle.

Per the report, officers fired 94 shots at Walker in less than seven seconds, according to Yost and Senior Assistant Attorney General Anthony Pierson. An autopsy revealed that no illegal drugs or alcohol were detected in his body.

The officers, whose names have been withheld from the public, were placed on leave following the shooting. 3 and half months later, the officers were brought back to the department for administrative duties.

Jayland Walker: Activists And The Akron Community Speak Out About What They’ve Experienced Since His Fatal Shooting By Police

An Angry Reaction

The decision not to charge the officers was met with harsh criticism from Walker’s family, community members, and Akron Democratic Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, who released a statement voicing her displeasure with the outcome.

“We’ve seen it too many times,” Sykes said. “A routine traffic stop ends in death, and a family and community mourn the loss of a son. A brother. A friend. A neighbor. As this country and community reckons with another tragic death, we find ourselves yearning for a justice system that protects us all.”

Syke also stated that she will ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Akron Police Department’s practices.

The legal representatives of the Akron police union and three of the officers involved in Walker's shooting noted that the officers fully cooperated with the investigation.

“The Akron FOP acknowledges the pain and suffering of Mr. Walker's family and joins them in calling for peace in our community," the attorney’s statement read.

The Walker family is expected to file a civil lawsuit against the officers and the city of Akron.

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