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Ohio police officers shot fleeing Black man dozens of times, lawyer says

Attorney Bobby DiCello described a video viewed by the family as “brutal,” and said Walker’s relatives worried protests this weekend could turn violent.

Police killed Jayland Walker, a Black man in Ohio, by shooting him dozens of times as he ran from officers, a lawyer for his family said, citing a review of police video footage due to be made public on Sunday.

In comments published on Saturday by the Akron Beacon Journal, attorney Bobby DiCello described the video as “brutal,” and said Walker’s relatives worried protests this weekend could turn violent.

The shooting was the latest in a string of killings of Black men by police in the United States that critics say are unjustified, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis which ignited global protests against police brutality.

“We’re all bracing for the community’s response and the one message that we have is the family does not need any more violence,” DiCello said.

Protesters block traffic during a protest of the Akron police shooting death of Jayland Walker
Protesters block traffic to the Stubbs Justice Center during a protest of the police shooting death of Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio on Thursday.Phil Masturzo / Akron Beacon Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

Akron police have said Walker fired a gun at officers who were pursuing him. They plan to release their body camera footage following a news conference on Sunday, hours before a protest march is scheduled.

Officials have said the incident began when officers tried to stop Walker for a traffic violation while he was driving early Monday morning. Walker fled, according to the Akron Police Department, which said officers reported a gun being fired from the suspect vehicle.

After several minutes Walker exited his vehicle and ran, while officers chased him on foot and fired at him, saying he presented a “deadly threat,” the police department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Walker, 25, was pronounced dead in the parking lot where he fell. Police representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

DiCello said his team has not seen any evidence Walker fired a gun and that police body camera footage showed him running with his back to officers when they fired.

“He is just in a down sprint when he is dropped by I think the count is more than 90 shots,” DiCello told the Akron Beacon Journal. “Now how many of those land, according to our investigation right now, we’re getting details that suggest 60 to 80 wounds.”

It was not clear how many bullets struck Walker because bullets can cause wounds both entering and exiting the body, DiCello said.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave during an investigation, according to the department’s statement.