DAYTON — Jayland Walker was among the names voiced during a gathering at RiverScape pavilion to remember people believed to be victims of police brutality.
The dozens who came out to the downtown Dayton MetroPark did so to show support for the family of the 25-year-old man Akron police shot to death the night of June 27 in a hail of gunfire as he ran from them after an attempted traffic stop.
The dozens who came out told News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis they want to see justice for Walker’s family.
“This isn’t going to end until we stop it,” said Trevor Rindler, one of the organizers of the Dayton vigil. “The goal of tonight is both to honor Jayland’s memory and use this as a step to do our best to make him one of the last.”
The funeral for Walker is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 and A Day of Mourning is planned for Wednesday as well, according to media reports out of Akron.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing its look into the actions of the eight police officers who hit Walker with at least 60 of the bullets they fired from their service weapons that night.
In the initial statements from the Akron Police Department about the killing, officers said Walker fired a shot at them during a car chase that began after the failed traffic stop. After viewing police officer dash and body cam from the slaying, police administration officials said Walker was not armed when he was shot down as he ran across a parking lot.
A gun and loaded magazine were later found in the car Walker bailed out of moments before police officers shot him. They said he turned toward them and they feared for their lives.
Sunday night, comments to News Center 7′s Lewis were not unlike comments that came from citizens in Akron and from across the nation after the video was made public.
“Everybody involved in that situation knew 100 percent they should not have all shot him,” said Rizjon Bridges, another Dayton vigil organizer. “It was only necessary for one officer to apprehend that suspect.”
Officials with the Fraternal Order of Police Akron Lodge 7 has told The Associated Press that when the investigation is complete, they are confident it will show the officers’ actions and the number of shots fired will be justified and in line with the police department’s training and protocols.
Walker’s slaying adds to the police killings of other black men and women in the last two years that have prompted social justice groups such as Black Lives Matter to call for the review and reorganization of police departments.
“A complete abolition of police is not the end goal that would be suitable for anybody in the United States,” Bridges said. “They serve a function and a purpose. But as we could see from that shooting and body cam footage, obviously they overstepped their boundaries.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has said the investigation by the Ohio BCI will take several weeks.
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