Akron city officials, police prepare for the Jayland Walker grand jury

Fencing in Akron in preparation for the Jayland walker grand jury decsion
Fencing in Akron in preparation for the Jayland walker grand jury decsion((Source: WOIO))
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 9:28 AM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A special grand jury hearing the case of the eight Akron police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker will be seated Monday by the Ohio Attorney General.

Jayland Walker
Jayland Walker(WOIO)

Walker, 25, of Akron, was shot and killed by Akron police on June 27, 2022 after an attempted traffic stop.

Hundreds of people participated in multiple protests throughout the city last summer after the shooting.

The grand jury members will hear evidence involving the death of Walker and decide if any or all of the officers should face criminal charges.

In anticipation of possible unrest following the grand jury’s decision, Akron police have installed fencing around the courthouse and the mayor has reactivated the “Akron Updates” website.

Attorneys representing the Walker family released the following statement as grand jury proceedings began:

“Today an Akron grand jury began its process of determining whether the officers who gunned down Jayland Walker last summer will be held criminally accountable for their actions. As part of that process, as Ohio law allows, the officers will be invited to testify before the grand jury on their behalf. Keep in mind that if any other Akron citizen was accused of a crime, they would not necessarily be afforded that same privilege. Simply put, it’s a process that favors the officers.

And against the backdrop of that process, the city is boarding up windows and bracing for violence. Why? Because the City of Akron doesn’t trust a significant portion of its citizens. It has decided that if there’s going to be violence, it will come from people who are sick and tired of a system that has ignored them and injured them for generations. City leadership doesn’t understand where that anger comes from. It doesn’t want to have that conversation because deep down, it simply doesn’t care what they are going through.

Today the family of Jayland Walker urges you to be mindful of how important it is that in America, everyone has equal access to justice and a fair process. They are not advocating for anything more than that. Unfortunately, this process is already stacked against them, but they will continue to fight for the justice that they and Jayland deserve.”

The eight Akron police officers who were involved in the shooting were brought back to work in October 2022.

Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said the officers were needed due to staffing concerns and were reassigned to administrative duties.