Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeNEWSThe Shooting of Jayland Walker, Another Unjustified Killing

The Shooting of Jayland Walker, Another Unjustified Killing

On June 27th, Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old African American man from Akron, OH was killed by police.  The details of Jayland’s death have so many people outraged and have caused civil unrest in the community for days now.   

It started around 12:30 a.m. when officers tried to stop Jayland’s car due to what they said was a traffic and equipment violation.  They did not specify what the violation actually was but pursued the car when it didn’t stop.  Based on video footage, the pursuit continued, and one officer says, “shots fired.  That vehicle just had a shot come out its door.” The pursuit continued for a few more minutes.  When the car slows down, the driver’s side door opens, and Jayland’s left foot is seen dragging the pavement; yet the car is still slowly rolling.  Officers approached the car screaming for Jayland to show his hands, don’t move, and stop the car, while frequently using profanity.  The open door of Jayland’s car swipes a police car, pushing the car door shut.

Jayland, who was wearing a ski mask, black tracksuit, and white sneakers, exited the front passenger side door, and began to run.  He looks back over his shoulder and turned to face police, before continuing to run.  A taser was used but was unsuccessful.  Jayland turns towards officers, who quickly fired their guns.  He fell to the ground within the first second and rolls several times, where he remained on his back with his hands at his sides.  The officers continued firing their guns.  An officer is heard shouting, “cease fire” three times.  He might have been the same officer that appears in the video waving his left hand in an attempt to stop the shooting.  The shooting continued for seven seconds; firing more than 90 shots.  At least 60 hit Jayland.  AT LEAST 60 hit Jayland.  AT LEAST 60 BULLETS HIT JAYLAND!  He was not armed when he was shot and killed.  I. AM. DISGUSTED!!!  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFICATION!!  NONE!!  

None of the videos show what happened next once the shooting stopped.  Police Chief Steve Mylett said every officer who fired said Jayland turned toward the officers and reached toward his waist, then lifted his arm toward officers before they fired.  As I read this, I rolled my eyes.  It’s officer excuse number one.  Again, Jayland was not armed.  It was only later that a handgun, a loaded magazine, a wedding ring, and a casing consistent with the handgun, were found on the seat of his car.  So far, there are no clear videos to substantiate what Mylett said, as the bodycam videos are blurry and shaky from the officers running and firing their guns.  

I first read the news report on the morning of July 4th, a day most Americans celebrate.  What exactly are we celebrating?  They say we’re celebrating our liberty and freedom.  Juneteenth has already passed.  It is obvious that July 4th doesn’t include us.  When it comes to our liberties and freedoms, we get slapped in the face and given the middle finger.  I’m so exhausted from hearing about police violence.  I’m exhausted from the emotions that it brings out of me, while reading or hearing about these stories.  I’m exhausted from seeing the side-by-side pictures of Caucasian people being arrested by police; comparing them to African Americans who are murdered by police.  I’m exhausted from the numerous stories of civil unrest and protests, that don’t get us any closer to obtaining justice for these murders.  The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, while the family of Jayland Walker is left to grieve and plan a funeral that shouldn’t be happening in the first place.  I’m exhausted.  My prayers are with Jayland’s family. 

Janet Downs| Janet Downs is an instructor with over 20 years of experience, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. She volunteers and is a resource for the homeless community and is working towards starting her own non-profit. She’s passionate about mental health and seeks to bring more awareness to the black community. She is active in church ministry, a writer, and loves music, hiking, and travel.


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