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Was the Jayland Walker Shooting Justified?

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Akron, Ohio, has been rocked by the police-involved shooting of Jayland Walker. Walker was shot and killed by police as he fled his car. What's notable about this incident is the number of shots fired. It was over 100, 60 of which hit Walker. How did this happen? 


Walker was chased by police after he refused to cooperate during a routine traffic stop. A firearm was recovered inside his vehicle. Police reported that he fired at them. Eight officers were involved. They're all on paid administrative leave as this shooting is investigated. The Walker family lawyer is claiming that he was unarmed when he was shot (via ABC News): 

Akron police officials said the fatal incident unfolded about 12:30 a.m. on June 27 in Akron's North Hill neighborhood when officers attempted to pull over Walker for a traffic violation and an equipment violation with his car. Police said the driver allegedly refused to stop, setting off a chase that ended in his death.

Police officials played footage from two police body-camera videos, the first showing police pursuing Walker's silver Buick onto Route 8 in Akron.

The video showed the Buick taking an onramp and a flash of light that Mylett said appeared to be the muzzle flash of a gun coming from the driver's side of Walker's car. Police officials also released freeze frames of the flash coming from the vehicle's window.

A second body-camera video recorded officers radioing that they heard at least one shot being fired from Walker's car. The video also shows the officer following the Buick off Route 8 and continuing the pursuit on side streets.

At one point, Walker slowed down and jumped out of the vehicle before it came to a full stop. The footage showed a man, who police said was Walker, exiting the car's passenger side door wearing a ski mask.


He was wearing a ski mask. He had a gun, and he fired at police officers. This sounds like a good shoot, but let's hold off; the left has already made its decision. A state of emergency was declared in Akron, and around 50 people were arrested as they vandalized the city. 

It's not Laquan McDonald or Walter Scott—two police shootings that occurred in 2014 and 2015, respectively, that were unjustified. McDonald's case was in Chicago, and it was so bad that then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel was accused of burying it to secure re-election. In South Carolina, Walter Scott is clearly running away, unarmed, and shot in the back several times. Both shootings were captured on camera. Both officers were charged with murder. Both went to jail. 

Former CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. Ex-Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Scott, was sentenced to 20 years. 

We'll see what happens here, but the key difference is that Walker had a gun and fired at police. 

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