Jul 5, 2022
Protests in wake of police killing of Jayland Walker Transcript
Protesters in Akron, Ohio, are calling for investigations and reform after police body cam videos show eight officers shooting an unarmed 25-year-old, Jayland Walker. Read the transcript here.
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Gayle King: (00:00)
Turning to the troubling police killing of an unarmed black man in Akron, Ohio. The mayor has now declared a state of emergency. Protestors believe that police body cam video released by the authorities fails to explain why eight officers opened fire, hitting Jayland Walker more than 60 times. You heard that, right? 6-0. The protesters are also demanding a Justice Department investigation of the police department’s culture and its policies. Elise Preston is outside the Akron Police Station with more on this story. Elise, good morning to you.
Elise Preston: (00:32)
Good morning to you, Gayle. The streets around the police department just reopened as downtown Akron’s overnight curfew is now over, but the tension remains. The mayor is asking for patience when it comes to the underway investigation. We have to warn you, the video you are about to see is hard to watch.
Elise Preston: (00:54)
Tension, outrage and sorrow filled the streets in Akron, where hundreds of protestors demonstrated for a fourth consecutive day, demanding justice in the police shooting death of 25 year old Jayland Walker.
Raymond Greene Jr: (01:07)
Today, we are going to the power structure.
Elise Preston: (01:10)
Activist Raymond Greene Jr. led the March toward the mayor’s house with a list of demands.
Raymond Greene Jr: (01:15)
That could have been my son or one of my daughters. Jayland Walker is us. Jayland Walker is me.
Elise Preston: (01:20)
The mayor declared a state of emergency and businesses boarded up windows in anticipation of violent unrest.
Speaker 4: (01:27)
That vehicle just had a shot come out of its door.
Elise Preston: (01:30)
Authorities say Walker fired around and fled his car after officers tried to pull him over for an unspecified traffic violation last week. After Walker jumped from the vehicle, the police chief says Walker appeared to reach down to his waist and turned toward officers who were chasing him before they unloaded a barrage of bullets.
Keith Taylor: (01:53)
Clearly they thought that this was an individual who had access to a weapon.
Elise Preston: (01:58)
Keith Taylor, a New York Police Department veteran says it appears officers followed their training, but new protocols might be necessary.
Keith Taylor: (02:06)
To the extent to which policies can be developed that will lessen the number of officers that are simultaneously utilizing lethal force, I think that would be better for all involved.
Elise Preston: (02:22)
Walker sustained more than 60 wounds and was unarmed when he was killed. Police say a gun was later recovered from his car. Are you angry? Are you hurt? How are you feeling?
Raymond Greene Jr: (02:33)
I’m angry. I’m pissed off. I’m disgusted. I want a new mayor. I want new leadership in this city.
Elise Preston: (02:40)
It’s unclear when or if the police will release additional body camera footage. Meanwhile, that downtown Akron overnight curfew remains in effect until further notice. Vlad.
Vlad Duthiers: (02:52)
All right, Elise. Thank you very much.