On 27 July, Jayland Walker (25) was fatally shot by police after a car chase in Akron, Ohio.
Authorities alleged that police stopped Walker during a traffic check, but he tried to escape, leading to a fatal confrontation.
While Ohio authorities initially claimed that Walker had fired at them, new bodycam footage complicates the matter. Even Akron Police Chief, Steve Mylett, told news reporters that after reviewing the footage, he was not certain why shots were fired.
However, he acknowledged that Walker's hands may have reached for his waist, which is typically enough to provoke officers to fire.
"Each officer independent of each other related that they felt that Mr. Walker had turned and was motioning and moving into a firing position."
The shooting is still under investigation. The case is being handled by agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Internet's reaction to the death of Jayland Walker
According to Fox News, several contradictory reports led to internal investigations into the death of Jayland Walker. While officers initially reported that Walker died from multiple gunshot wounds, Mylett acknowledged that the autopsy revealed that the victim had been shot approximately 60 times, which may indicate excessive force.
In an official press release, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan acknowledged the tragic death of Jayland Walker.
“I know this is a somber occasion for the city."
In an official statement, Attorney General David Yost said the case must be investigated. If there is any wrongdoing, the authorities involved must be held accountable.
“People want and deserve answers, and they shall have them. BCI will conduct a complete, fair and expert investigation."
“Body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture – before drawing conclusions, the full review must take place.”
The family of Jayland Walker also released a statement through their attorney, Bobby DiCello.
“We want peace. This family has had enough violence."
"We want dignity, we want to celebrate the life of this young man in a way that brings dignity to him and to the city and we want justice, which means a fair process, reviewing all the facts and let that process play out. We do not want violence of any kind."
According to Statista Research, Jayland Walker was 1 of 79 people killed by police in America this year. Reports of police brutality have tarnished the image of US authorities worldwide, especially after the George Floyd case led to a large-scale Black Lives Matter movement.
Activists argued that across America, African-Americans are disproportionately targeted by police. While most encounters are fatal, authorities cannot justify using excessive force. In this respect, Walker is yet another victim of systematic oppression.