Ohio police break up protest over no indictment in Jayland Walker killing
April 19 (Reuters) - Police in Ohio broke up a protest by more than 100 people who were marching on Wednesday over a grand jury's decision to not indict officers who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.
Police used what appeared to be chemical spray and other non-lethal weapons to disperse the crowd. The mayor’s office wrote on social media that police broke up the protest after it had been declared an “unlawful assembly.” It was not known if any arrests were made.
Neither Akron police nor the mayor’s office immediately responded to requests for comment about Wednesday’s protest.
The protesters were venting anger over a grand jury’s decision on Monday not to indict eight Akron police officers who shot Jayland Walker 46 times last June.
The killing of Walker, 25, happened after police tried to carry out a traffic stop on him, but he led officers on a car chase through a residential area. Investigators have said that as he was driving, Walker fired at least one shot from a gun at police.
Walker eventually fled his car on foot – but left his gun in the car, investigators have said.
Police pursuing Walker on foot opened fire on him after mistakenly thinking he had reached into his waistband for his weapon.
The Walker family’s legal team derided the grand jury’s decision and said they would file a civil lawsuit against the city in June.
Walker’s death followed a spate of law enforcement killings of Black people in the U.S. that have triggered protests against racial injustice and police brutality, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; Editing by Robert Birsel)