Posted on April 18, 2023

Ohio Officers Won’t Face State Charges in Fatal Shooting of Jayland Walker

CBS News, April 17, 2023

An Ohio grand jury decided eight Akron police officers were legally justified in the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old Black man last year and won’t face charges, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday. Jayland Walker was killed by police after fleeing a traffic stop in June.

Police released body camera footage showing him dying in a hail of gunfire. When officers tried to pull Walker over for minor equipment and traffic violations, police say he fired a shot from his car 40 seconds into the pursuit.

The state investigation found that police first saw Walker driving with a broken taillight and a broken light on his rear license plate, but they decided not to follow him. They saw him 10 minutes later at the same intersection and decided to pursue him for the equipment violation, Yost said.

Officers chased the car on a freeway and city streets until Walker bailed from the still-moving vehicle, ignored officers’ commands and ran into a parking lot where he was killed while wearing a ski mask, bodycam video showed. Authorities said he represented a “deadly threat.” A handgun, a loaded magazine and a wedding ring were found on the driver’s seat of his car.

Walker reached for his waistband as officers were chasing and raised his hand, Yost said. The officers, not knowing he left his gun in the car, believed he was firing again at them, Yost said.

Yost said it is critical to remember that Walker had fired at police, and that he “shot first.”

Dashcam video from a police cruiser captured images of Walker firing the gun from his car, said Anthony Pierson, an assistant state attorney general.

“There is no doubt he did in fact shoot at police officers,” Yost said.


Walker’s death received widespread attention from activists, including from the family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The NAACP and an attorney for Walker’s family called on the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights investigation.

President Biden responded during a trip to Ohio last summer by saying the DOJ was monitoring the case.