The officers complied with police policies, Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett wrote in a department review memo.
In response, Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, an Akron Democrat, renewed her call for a federal pattern-or-practice investigation of the Akron Police Department.
Walker died in a hail of more than 40 shots in a case that sparked outrage and demonstrations against excess police force.
“Despite the findings of this report, we can all agree there is still significant work that needs to be done to rebuild trust between the Akron Police Department and the people they swore an oath to protect and serve,” Sykes stated.
“This report does not eliminate the need for ongoing conversations about how to move forward together as a community and ensure meaningful actions that will keep everyone in our city safe.”
Mylett wrote that he directed the department’s Office of Professional Standards and Accountability to initiate the internal investigation after a special grand jury declined to indict the officers criminally in April.
According to the police, on June 27, 2022, officers tried to pull over Walker’s car for minor equipment violations, but he failed to stop and then fired a gunshot at them from his moving vehicle less than a minute into a pursuit. At some point, Walker exited the car and fled on foot.
Once Walker fired a weapon, the situation “dramatically changed from a routine traffic stop to a significant public safety and officer safety issue,” Mylett wrote.
According to Mylett, Walker ignored multiple commands to show his hands while fleeing on foot. He turned toward the officers, reached into his waistband and positioned himself in a shooting posture.
“This caused officers to believe he was still armed and intended on firing upon officers. Officers then fired to protect themselves,” Mylett wrote.
A county medical examiner said Walker was shot dozens of times during the police confrontation, counting 41 bullet entry wounds and five wounds from bullets that grazed him.
After the grand jury’s decision, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said investigators recovered a shell casing that matched the gun recovered in Walker’s car, the Akron Beacon Journal reported at that time.
“The law allows officers to use deadly force to defend themselves or others against a deadly threat,” Yost said.
Sykes said her call for a federal probe “is in no way an attempt at retribution, but rather, an opportunity to implement more community focused policing that serves the needs of every segment of this community.”
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