Ohio city imposes curfew after protests over black man’s death

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The city of Akron, Ohio, in the United States, declared a state of emergency on Monday (4), establishing a curfew and canceling fireworks on Independence Day, after protests over the death of an unarmed black man by the police became uncontrollable on Sunday night (3).

The demonstrations erupted after police released a body camera video that showed eight officers shooting 25-year-old Jayland Walker as he fled a traffic stop last week. Walker’s body was found with around 60 gunshot wounds.

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Protests during the day on Sunday were peaceful. But despite the Walker family’s pleas to keep it that way, Akron police declared a gathering illegal as soon as a property was damaged. Officers fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters, WKYC-TV said.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan stated that a curfew in downtown Akron was in effect from 9pm to 6am until further notice. A fireworks celebration in celebration of the 4th of July was also cancelled.

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“There was significant property damage in downtown Akron. Small businesses on Main Street had their windows smashed. We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence,” Horrigan said in a statement.

The Jayland Walker shooting marks the latest in a series of police killings of unarmed black men, raising questions about police use of force and equal justice for African Americans and contributing to increasing polarization in the United States.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters that the Justice Department, including the Civil Rights Division and the FBI’s Akron field office, is closely monitoring and evaluating the situation surrounding Walker’s death. .

“This footage is disturbing,” Bates said. “And no family should have to endure the horrible pain and loss of a loved one that the Walker family is experiencing right now.”

Police reported that Walker had a gun in his car, but left it in the front seat as he fled on foot. Officers believed he fired a round from inside the car before fleeing, and that he was “moving into firing position” when he got out of his car, prompting them to react to him as a potential threat, the chief explained. of Akron Police, Stephen Mylett.

protests

The mayor praised the peaceful protests in Akron. Hundreds of protesters marched on the streets of the city of about 200,000 people, waving “Black Lives Matter” flags and chanting “We just died” and “Justice for Jayland.”

Horrigan expressed that the problem started after dark, a pattern that happened in 2020, when protests spread across the United States over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for many minutes. The officers were later convicted of various charges, including murder and civil rights violations.

On Sunday, Walker family attorney Bobby DiCello told reporters that he was “very concerned” by the police charge that Walker had shot officers from his car, adding that there was no justification for his violent death.

“I ask you, while he is on the run, what is reasonable? To kill you? No, that’s unreasonable,” DiCello said.

The Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating, and the file will be made public at the conclusion of the case, Attorney General Dave Yost issued.

“People want and deserve answers, and they will get them. BCI will conduct a thorough, fair and expert investigation,” Yost said in a statement.

The eight officers directly involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave, the Akron police chief said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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