AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron police have confirmed that 50 people were arrested after some protesters became unruly and didn’t disperse after a curfew was issued at midnight.
“A team of officers provided multiple verbal commands and other instructions and offered a reasonable amount of time to comply,” Akron police said in a statement. “Due to growing concerns that the situation could further escalate, paired with the refusal to comply with a lawful order to disperse, officers deployed a chemical irritant to prevent further rioting and property damage.”
Those arrested — on charges ranging from rioting to failure to disperse — were reportedly from Akron and other nearby cities, police said.
By Monday evening, police were preparing for potential trouble in front of the Justice Center following the police killing of Jayland Walker last week. They reportedly came out just before 9 p.m. and said everyone (with the exception of media) had to leave the area or be subject to arrest.
By 10 p.m. everyone had reportedly left the area, but police were still on alert.
Protesters returned to the street Monday, to unite against the police shooting.
The Akron RubberDucks also announced their game with Altoona would be canceled.
Protesters Monday marched to Mayor Dan Horrigan’s house chanting, “Defund the police!” and, “No justice, no peace.”
Officers surrounded the home.
Sunday, people gathered in mostly peaceful protests to march for justice following the police killing of Jayland Walker. Once the sun went down, some protesters turned to violence, shattering windows of multiple businesses.
An area of South Main Street near Exchange Street was closed to traffic Monday so businesses could clean up. Police have not said if they made any arrests.
The protests came after police released videos of the shooting death of Jayland Walker.
The 25-year-old was killed last Monday following a police chase. Police say they tried to stop Walker for a traffic investigation. Walker did not stop, according to police, and they began pursuing his vehicle. During that pursuit, officers said Walker fired a shot from the car. A gun and bullet casing was later found in his vehicle. Eventually, Walker bailed from the car and began running. He was in a ski mask at the time. At some point, Walker turned and officers perceived him to be a threat, police say. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett admitted in the video it is not clear what led officers to fire. He said a still frame of the video showed Walker appearing to be reaching for his waistband.
Officers opened fire. Walker had over 60 wounds to his body. Police say they don’t know the number of rounds fired.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting, will determine the number of times he was shot. The medical examiner is still working to determine entrance and exit wounds.
8 officers are on paid administrative leave, although it is not clear if all 8 officers fired their weapons. Jayland was unarmed at the time.
Attorney Bobby DiCello disagrees with the police assessment of the shooting.
“As he’s just starting to make a slight turn with his head kind of back over his shoulder, he is gunned down in a hail of gunfire. His body is actually shot as he is on the ground,” DiCello said.
The Fraternal Order of Police, Akron Lodge 7, says the officers are cooperating fully with the investigation.
“We believe the independent investigation will justify the officers’ actions, including the number of shots fired,” the Akron FOP said in a statement. “The decision to deploy lethal force as well as the number of shots fired is consistent with use of force protocols and officers’ training.”
More protests are planned for Monday. Walker’s family has called for peace.
“We want peace. This family has had enough violence. We want dignity, we want to celebrate the life of this young man in a way that brings dignity to him and to the city and we want justice, which means a fair process, reviewing all the facts and let that process play out. We do not want violence of any kind,” DiCello said.
The Black Elected Officials of Summit County (BEOSC) also issued a statement Monday requesting for peace but called on the mayor’s help too.
“During these moments of heightened tension, we ask that the Mayor direct law enforcement to prioritize de-escalation tactics while considering crowd control and protest monitoring. Simply put, the response should be de-escalation, not militarization. This community needs a lot of things at this moment, but we do not need the National Guard,” BEOSC said.
It’s not clear how long the investigation will take. The case file will be made public after it is complete.