Officers will not face state charges in Jayland Walker police shooting


(AKRON, Ohio) — A grand jury has chosen not to indict officers on state criminal charges for the death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old who was fatally shot after a car and foot chase by police on June 27, 2022, in Akron, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

“The grand jury just a little while ago issued what is called a no bill, meaning that there will be no state criminal action, no charges at the state level,” Yost said in a Monday press conference.

Officers have said they had attempted to pull Walker over for a traffic violation and an equipment violation with his car. He apparently refused to stop, which set off a chase that ended in his death.

Officials said a flash of light seen in body camera footage appeared to be the muzzle flash of a gun coming from the driver’s side of Walker’s car.

In a second body camera video, officers are heard radioing that a shot was being fired from Walker’s car. The footage shows an officer following Walker’s car and continuing the pursuit on side streets.

“Mr. Walker took at least one shot from his vehicle at the police, led them on a chase and exited from his vehicle in a ski mask, ignoring multiple commands by officers to show his hands and to stop,” Yost said, adding there is no conclusive evidence as to where he was pointing his gun.

At one point, Walker slowed down and jumped out of the passenger side door before the vehicle came to a full stop, according to the footage. According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, officers attempted to use stun guns to subdue him.

“Mr. Walker then reached for his waistband in what several officers described as a cross-draw motion, planted his foot and turned toward the officers while raising his hand,” Yost said, adding that officers were unaware Walker was unarmed after exiting the car.

“Various officers indicated in their statements that they heard a gunshot and they responded to the gunshot thinking that it was Mr. Walker who was shooting,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Anthony Pierson said at the Monday press conference.

As Walker ran away from police, eight officers simultaneously fired at him, fatally shooting him. Walker had 46 gunshot wounds to his body. According to officials, the officers fired 94 shots at Walker.

A gun was recovered inside his car.

His death prompted protests across the city and calls from civil rights leaders for accountability and justice.

“Jayland was the best,” his mother, Pamela Walker, said in an interview with ABC News last year. “He was the most lovable guy. … And he was quiet and reserved, but he was a lot of fun. He liked to joke around. He would joke and make you laugh and loved to listen to music. And he was really helpful to people.”

Officials said they could not determine Walker’s motivation for his actions that night

“I don’t want to speculate as to what Mr. Walker was thinking at the time,” said Pierson. “But I can say this, that it has been made public that Mr. Walker was going through a very tough time in his life. I think it’s been documented that Mr. Walker’s fiance had died a short time before this incident happened. And he was going through a very tough time and he was hurting.”

None of the officers involved in the Walker shooting or their attorneys have previously spoken publicly about the case.

The officers were on paid leave following the fatal shooting, before being brought back for administrative duty at the department amid a staffing “crisis,” according to Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett.

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