Grand jury declines to indict Akron officers in deadly police shooting of Jayland Walker

Warning: This story contains video from previous coverage that may contain graphic violence and language. Viewer discretion is advised.

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The special grand jury selected by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has voted against indicting the eight Akron officers involved in the 2022 deadly shooting of Jayland Walker.

The officers shot and killed Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, on June 27, 2022 after an attempted traffic stop that led to a police chase.

During the announcement, officials confirmed 94 shots were taken at Walker during the incident.

Each of the eight officers shot between three and 18 times, all within the timespan of 6.7 seconds.

Over 140 items of evidence were taken in for investigation, including multiple police body cameras, ODOT traffic cameras, and Range USA surveillance camera footage, according to details of the investigation given during the announcement.

Walker’s family announced Monday night they intend to file a civil lawsuit before the one year anniversary of his death. It is unclear at this time who the lawsuit is against.

** GRAPHIC: Evidence from the investigation is now available online. **

After the decision was announced, the Akron police union released this statement:

“The eight Akron Police officers involved in the Jayland Walker use of force incident would like to thank the Grand Jury for their service in this difficult and tragic case.

This incident is a tragedy for our entire community, including the family of Jayland Walker, as well as all of the officers involved. Many officers work their entire career without discharging their weapon. A split-second decision to use lethal force is one that every police officer hopes he or she will never be forced to make.

Each and every officer involved cooperated fully with an independent investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). They were interviewed and answered each and every question truthfully and completely.

The Akron FOP acknowledges the pain and suffering of Mr. Walker’s family and joins them in calling for peace in our community.”

—  The Akron police union

The Freedom Bloc also released the following statement:

“A no-bill decision, an expected result to an unexpected murder. To be executed while unarmed, shot at close to 100 times, hit nearly 50 times, is a lynching. Grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret, but it’s clear from today’s announcements that they were only secret to those who cared and had the most hope—our community. What was expected was an impartial investigation into a clear case of excessive force. What was delivered was a trial for a defenseless dead man.

During an NAACP meeting earlier this week, the FBI representatives let slip that the very officers who delivered the murderous melee of bullets were allowed to give testimony during the proceedings, it’s unknown whether they were in uniform, but their very inclusion is telling of the outcome and it’s no secret. In what world do defendants testify in grand jury proceedings? How impartial could jurors be in granting a bill to an officer on the stand in uniform who feared for his life from a reach to something that wasn’t even there?

The outcome was no secret to the Akron city council, and police department who prepared for the worst, telling downtown businesses and the community at large to be fearful of protest by boarding up their businesses and denouncing dissent. They erected concrete and gated barriers as “protest zones” telling us to keep the peace while knowing we’d gain no justice.

The outcome was no secret to Akron public schools, who cut school early and cancelled classes tomorrow in fear of what the community may do when starved for justice. Our faith in expecting current officials to do what is both right and just is no more. The rot in Akron and in Ohio smells of the strange fruit of lynched black men. In a state full of more hate groups than any other state in the union, it’s no wonder we gained this result, but the sting of it persists along with the hope that we must keep alive for liberation. The struggle for justice continues. Today, we pray, grieve and give support to the Walker family. Tomorrow, we march. No one rests until the lives of Black people are valued, liberated and free.”

—  The Freedom Bloc

Yost selected the nine primary jurors, who began reviewing evidence on April 10.

Each indictment would have required a seven-vote majority for each charge against each officer, who would only be named if they are charged.

Akron city officials on April 5 installed fencing around the courthouse in anticipation of potential unrest following the grand jury’s decision.

Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan also reactivated the “Akron Updates” website, containing information for demonstration zones, curfew information, road closures and mental health resources, among other resources.

When Akron police released body camera footage from the shooting in a July 3, 2022 press conference, Chief Steve Mylett confirmed Walker was unarmed at the time the officers shot at him.

The autopsy report completed by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office said Walker received 46 entrance and/or graze wounds as a result of the shooting.

Officials did not specify the exact number of times Walker was shot.

There were no drugs or alcohol in his system, officials said.

Mylett also said at the time that investigators found a gun inside Walker’s car following the chase.

Two shell casings were found matching the gun found in Walker’s car, according to the investigation.

The department reassigned the officers, who were placed on administrative leave following the shooting, on Oct. 12, 2022 to administrative roles, which caused protests throughout the community.

Mylett specified the reassignments were needed due to staffing concerns.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.

Alec Sapolin

Alec Sapolin

Alec Sapolin joined 19 News as a Digital Content Producer in March 2022.

Maddi Hebebrand

Maddi Hebebrand

Maddi joined Cleveland 19 News as a Digital Content Producer in May 2022.