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Masses Protest in US After Circulating Video of Police Killing Black Man
By Staff, Agencies
Several hundred protesters marched Sunday in Akron, Ohio, in the United States after the footage of a body camera that showed police fatally shooting a Black man with several dozen rounds of bullets went viral.
The crowd marched to City Hall carrying banners with slogans such as "Justice for Jayland." The slogan refers to Jayland Walker, 25, who was killed Monday after officers tried to stop his car over a traffic violation, police said.
Derrick Johnson, president of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], denounced the shooting as "murder... point blank" as the civil rights group led a daytime rally.
"This Black man was killed... for a possible traffic violation. This doesn't happen to white people in America," he said in a statement, slamming police's response.
Despite calls from some protesters for calm, tensions mounted as the night wore on. Some protesters set dumpsters alight and broke windows of the snowplows and other heavy equipment authorities had moved near the police department as a barrier in anticipation of unrest. Police in riot gear deployed and fired tear gas at the crowd to push it back from the justice center.
Akron authorities released two videos Sunday: a compilation of body-camera footage, body-cam still frames and voiceover, and another of the complete body-cam footage of the entire chase and shooting. The voiceover explained that Walker did not stop and drove off. Police engaged in a car chase and said a shot had been fired from Walker's vehicle.
After being chased for several minutes, Walker got out of his car while it was still moving and fled on foot. Officers tried to subdue him with their tasers, but he kept running. All of the officers at the scene opened fire on Walker, shooting multiple times in rapid succession. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police chief Steve Mylett said he didn't know the exact number of bullets fired at Walker, but the medical examiner's report "indicates over 60 wounds to Mr. Walker's body." He added that the eight officers involved in Walker's death have been placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
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