Jul 03, 2022 15:01 UTC
  • US police officers shot fleeing Black man at least 60 times: Lawyer

A lawyer for the family of unarmed African American victim, Jayland Walker,  said police fatally shot him at least 60 times as he was running away following a traffic stop in Ohio, the US, on Monday.

Twenty-five-year-old Walker was fatally shot as he continued to drive after police officers tried to pull him over for an unspecified traffic violation, according to Akron Police Department in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said Walker ran into a parking lot, and “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them.”

Officers shot him and called for medical services, but Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement. 

A lawyer for the family of Walker, Bobby DiCello, however, said police body-cam footage shows that Walker was running away, unarmed, when police officers fired at him more than 90 times.

Speaking to the Akron Beacon Journal, DiCello described the video as “very, very disturbing” and unlike anything he has seen. 

Police will release the footage following a press conference on Sunday, hours before a protest march is scheduled. 

DiCello said he thinks the number of shots fired topped 90, and that an investigation indicates Walker received 60 to 80 wounds. 

He said officers ran after him and shot him “within seconds.”

"I think the firing happens in about six seconds,” DiCello said. “It was an unbelievable amount of gunfire.” 

He said Walker's relatives are worried protests against the fatal shooting could turn violent this weekend.

"We’re all bracing for the community’s response and the one message that we have is the family does not need any more violence,” DiCello said.

An unspecified number of officers were placed on administrative leave after Walker's death, the police department said. It did not name the officers. 

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett released a joint statement on Wednesday, saying anytime an officer must discharge their weapon is a “dark day” for the city, the families of those involved and the officers. 

“Tragically, we are once again faced with a young man, with his life before him, gone too soon,” they said. “Every single life is precious, and the loss of any life is absolutely devastating to our entire community.” 

The police department said in its statement that the officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with departmental procedure. It did not name them. 

The shooting was the latest in a string of killings of African American men by police in the United States, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis which ignited global protests against police brutality.