Akron curfew reinstated after 7 arrests at Wednesday night’s protest

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 11:22 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - As the City of Akron’s curfew went back into effect at 10 p.m. Thursday night, it was all quiet in front of the justice center that also serves as the city’s police department.

Hours earlier, one lone protester carried an upside-down American flag, a signal of distress as Akron Police are put under a nationwide microscope for killing Jayland Walker after shooting him more than 60 times.

That was just over a week ago.

So, what led to the reinstatement of Akron’s curfew?

On Wednesday night, there was another clash between police and protesters.

Seven people were arrested for rioting, and two of them had to be hospitalized.

Police said Akron General had to be locked down, and pepper spray was deployed when 100 people blocked the entrance to the emergency room.

19 News has obtained cell phone video of two of the arrests.

Activist Michael Harris was seen in the video with officers holding both of his arms, and another Akron Police Officer punching him in the face at least five times on the video, and then he was tackled to the ground.

Police said he was resisting arrest.

It all started when police ordered protesters to get out of High Street and get on the sidewalk.

Akron Police said protesters were warned numerous times, but protesters, including Franklin Ragsdale of Akron, told a different story.

“Police came and demanded we get on the sidewalk or they were going to arrest us. So, we started to move towards getting on the sidewalk. They all came down with pepper spray and they started just grabbing people up,” Ragsdale said.

Protesters said Michael Harris, who was arrested in the video, is now hospitalized.

“They grabbed Michael Harris up as you can see from the video. They had his hands behind his back and started punching him in the face, Ragsdale told 19 News.

A man in his 60′s named Jacob Blake Sr. was also hospitalized.

Protesters said he was immediately confronted by police as he got out of his van.

Ragsdale said it was unjustified, “He was handicapped. Again, he posed no threat to the police. But they still met with violence.”

Now, the city of Akron’s curfew re-instated for the sake of law and order, something protesters like Danielle Taylor of Akron told me Jayland Walker was denied, “They’re really literally trying to shut our voice down. They don’t want us to be heard, but the world has already seen it.”

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