Jayland Walker's Autopsy Is Out, With One Key Number

25-year-old Black man from Ohio was shot, grazed 46 times in hail of police gunfire: medical examiner
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2022 10:27 AM CDT
Autopsy: Black Ohio Man Was Shot, Grazed 46 Times by Cops
A person leaves the funeral of Jayland Walker at the Akron Civic Theatre on Wednesday in Akron, Ohio.   (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal via AP)

Jayland Walker, the 25-year-old Black man killed in a hail of police gunfire in the Ohio city of Akron last month, was shot or grazed 46 times, according to a preliminary autopsy report released Friday by the Summit County medical examiner's office, per the AP. Akron police have acknowledged initial findings showed more than 60 wounds on Walker's body. A spokeswoman for Summit County tells the Washington Post it's "very possible" that multiple entrance wounds could be caused by one bullet. The June 27 pursuit began when officers tried to pull Walker over for equipment violations. Authorities say Walker fired a gunshot from his car 40 seconds into the chase, though police note that he wasn't armed when officers shot him.

An attorney for Walker's family says there was no need for officers to kill him. The NAACP has made a direct plea to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the Justice Department to open a federal civil-rights investigation into the shooting death. Police body camera footage shows Walker, wearing a ski mask, jumping out the front passenger door of his still-moving car and then running into a parking lot, where police opened fire. That blurry footage doesn't clearly show what authorities say was a threatening gesture made by Walker before he was shot. An unloaded handgun, an ammunition clip, and what appeared to be a wedding band were found on the front driver's seat of Walker's car, authorities said. The officers involved are on paid leave while the state investigates the shooting. Seven of those officers are white, and one is Black.

None of them has a record of discipline, substantiated complaints, or fatal shootings, according to the police department. The local police union has said the officers thought there was an immediate threat of serious harm, and that it believes their actions and the number of shots will be found justified in line with their training and protocols. Police in neighboring New Franklin Township had tried to stop and then chased a car matching Walker's for the same minor equipment violations less than 24 hours before the Akron chase. A supervisor there called off the pursuit when the car crossed the township's border with Akron. Bobby DiCello, an attorney for Walker's family, has said Walker didn't deserve to die. He added that after Walker's funeral service, he'll hold police accountable for every round fired from their guns.

(Read more Jayland Walker stories.)

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