Akron Declares State of Emergency Following Protests Over Police Killing of Black Motorist Jayland Walker

The mayor of Akron, Ohio has declared a state of emergency on July 4 following protests over the police killing of Jayland Walker, a Black motorist who was shot dozens of times.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said that several peaceful protests in the downtown area on July 3 “became no longer peaceful” when night fell, citing “significant property damage.”

Videos circulating on social media showed Akron police in riot gear firing tear gas canisters at protesters.

According to the state of emergency order, the protests “evolved into violence, resulting in vandalism and rioting.”

“We cannot and will not tolerate violence or the destruction of property. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew, and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for tonight,” Horrigan said in a statement.

The curfew will be in effect in the downtown area from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The fireworks that were canceled had been scheduled to commemorate the Fourth of July.

The protests took place the same day Akron police released body camera footage showing how police fired a barrage of bullets at Walker, who was running away in what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop.

Officers chased down Walker on foot after he exited his car, then officers fired a hail of rounds.

“Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them. In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect,” police said in a statement.

Eight officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation being led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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