Grand Jury Won't Indict in Jayland Walker Shooting Death

Akron police were justified in opening fire, Ohio attorney general says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 5:50 PM CDT
Grand Jury Won't Indict in Jayland Walker Shooting Death
FILE - This is a poster on the stage during a news conference following the funeral service for Jayland Walker at the Akron Civic Center in Akron, Ohio, July 13, 2022. A grand jury in Ohio will hear evidence this week to decide whether police officers should face criminal charges in the shooting of...   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Eight Akron police officers will not face charges in the July death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black driver they shot after pulling him over on a traffic stop. The police "were legally justified in their use of force," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Monday, NBC News reports. Walker had refused to stop, said the officers, seven of whom were white. They fired 94 times at Walker in the course of 6.7 seconds, prosecutors said; 46 of the bullets struck or grazed him. The officers' names have not been released. Public demonstrations followed the shooting death, and windows of the Akron City Hall have been boarded up in anticipation of the grand jury's decision.

Yost said it was important to keep in mind that Walker "shot first" at police, per CBS News. Officials of the police union said that the officers thought they faced a serious threat and that their actions reflected their training. The special grand jury in Summit County had two Black members and three men and six women overall. A prosecutor referred to suggestions Walker had been suicidal after his fiance's death. "I don't want to speculate as to what Mr. Walker was thinking at the time," Assistant Attorney General Anthony Pierson said, adding, "Mr. Walker was going through a very tough time in his life." A family spokesperson had said Walker was grieving but showed no reason for concern. Walker's family has asked for a civil rights investigation by the Justice Department. (More Jayland Walker stories.)

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