Police shootings: What happened after controversial cases
Walker’s family wants him to be remembered as a fun-loving young man who was full of life, said Robert Dejournett, a relative and the pastor of St. Ashworth Temple Church of God In Christ. He said the family hopes the shooting will lead to change.
“We want to take that, and we want to use it for the benefit of systemic change,” Dejournett said. “We want to be treated like human beings, you know, Black men, young men, they’re afraid when it comes to police — that shouldn’t be,” Dejournett said.
There were protests over Walker’s killing Sunday that started peacefully but turned violent after night fell, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. He said there was “significant property damage done to downtown Akron” and police said they arrested around 50 people after the group failed to disperse.
Walker’s family had asked that any protests remain peaceful to honor his memory.
DeAnna Hoskins, the Ohio-based president and CEO of national criminal justice reform nonprofit JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), said the scene of the video showing Walker’s encounter with police reminded her of a war zone given the number of shots fired, adding that this is another case of a Black man being shot and killed by police and being hunted as if he was an animal or property.
“Transparency of the videotape has allowed us to get to the bottom of stories or reports from the officers,” Hoskins said. “But it also was a very traumatic experience for those who watch it as well. After a while you just you get exhausted of watching that.”
While details of the case — and the expected fallout — are still unfolding, Walker’s death directs attention back on how a traffic stop can become fatal and revives years-long frustration with how police interact with Black people. Killings at the hands of law enforcement continue to leave families devastated and social justice advocates calling for substantive reform and policy changes.
In response to the video release, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel Janai S. Nelson said in a statement that Walker’s killing highlights how the country must reimagine police conduct surrounding traffic stops and how society thinks about public safety. Black drivers are disproportionately killed by law enforcement officers in traffic stops, he added.
“The tragic killing of Jayland Walker once again underscores just how deeply dysfunctional and discriminatory America’s system of policing continues to be,” Nelson said. “As we understand them, the facts and video footage in Mr. Walker’s death give us significant pause about the legality of the officers’ conduct.”
Here is a look at some of the most recent high-profile and controversial police shootings and the outcomes:
Jayland Walker, 25
When: June 27, 2022
Where: Akron, Ohio
What happened: According to police, the events that led to the shooting began around 12:30 a.m., when police attempted to stop Walker, who was driving a silver Buick, for traffic and equipment violations.
Walker fled the stop, according to a narrated video timeline of the incident police played at Sunday’s news conference, and officers began to chase after him.
About 40 seconds after Walker drove away from police, “a sound consistent with a gunshot can be heard on the body-worn cameras of the officers,” police said in the narrated video. Police also said “a flash of light” could be seen on the driver’s side of the car at the time of the sound.
After several minutes, body camera video shows that Walker’s vehicle slowed, and he exited the vehicle and ran. Several police officers got out of their patrol cars and chased him, and officers deployed Tasers in an effort to stop him, police said, but were unsuccessful.
The incident ended soon after when, according to a police timeline, Walker “stopped and quickly turned towards the officers,” and eight officers discharged their weapons on the unarmed man, firing dozens of bullets. At least one officer can be heard near the end of videos that were released shouting, “Cease fire.”
What’s next: The shooting remains under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI).
A medical examiner’s report found Walker suffered at least 60 wounds as a result of the gunfire, Mylett said Sunday, though the medical examiner is still working to determine which are entrance wounds and which are exit wounds. The BCI will determine exactly how many times Walker was shot, Mylett said.
The officers are “cooperating fully” with the investigation, the Akron police union said in a statement, adding it believes the investigation will determine the officers’ use of force was justified.
Mylett said officers retrieved a shell casing near the scene of the attempted traffic stop that was “consistent with the firearm that Mr. Walker had in his vehicle. The BCI will determine whether or not that casing came from the gun or not.”
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office did not release the autopsy record to CNN but confirmed Walker’s death “is ruled a homicide and is considered a ‘confidential law enforcement investigatory record.'”
A final autopsy report will be turned over to the BCI, and the report will be part of what the state attorney general’s office considers for presenting a case to a grand jury.
Patrick Lyoya, 26
When: April 4, 2022
Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan
What happened: The incident began just after 8 a.m. ET on April 4 when police say they pulled over a vehicle for improper registration. The driver, Lyoya, got out of the vehicle and at some point, ran, Grand Rapids Police said. Body camera footage showed the officer chasing and tackling Lyoya, resulting in a minutes-long struggle.
The officer attempted to tase Lyoya at least twice, according to the police chief, but failed to make contact as Lyoya put his hands on the Taser. At that point, the officer’s body camera was accidentally deactivated but cell phone video shows the fatal shot to the head, which can also be heard in video from a home surveillance camera.
Amir Locke, 22
When: February 2, 2022
Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
What happened: Minneapolis police were executing a no-knock search warrant linked to a homicide investigation in neighboring St. Paul, when a SWAT officer shot and killed Locke, who appeared to be asleep on a couch when officers came in. Locke wasn’t named in the warrant; Locke’s cousin was.
The video shows officers using a key to open the apartment’s door as officers shout, “Police! Search warrant!” Other officers yelled, “Hands! Hands! Hands!” and “Get on the f****ng ground!” as they approach Locke, who was sleeping on the couch and wrapped in blankets. One officer kicks the back of the couch, waking up Locke. He begins to sit up with his gun in his hand as three shots in the home can be heard by officers.
Daunte Wright, 20
When: April 11, 2021
Where: Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
What happened: The young father was pulled over by police for an expired tag and an illegal air freshener. During the stop, officers learned he had an outstanding warrant and attempted to arrest him, but Wright pulled away and tried to drive off.
As video of the incident shows, Officer Kim Potter yelled, “Taser” repeatedly before she shot Wright with her handgun. She then said, “Holy sh*t! I just shot him!” She added: “I grabbed the wrong f**king gun, and I shot him.”
The shooting led to days of unrest in suburban Brooklyn Center after a tumultuous year of coast-to-coast protests over police brutality and how officers interact with Black people.
George Floyd, 46
When: May 25, 2020
Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
What happened: Minneapolis Police responded to a report of a “forgery in progress” outside of a Cup Foods store where Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20.
Ronald Greene, 49
When: May 10, 2019
Where: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The autopsy, prepared by the Union Parish Coroner’s Office, states in its opinion section that lacerations of Greene’s head were “inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury and most consistent with multiple impacts from a blunt object.”
Breonna Taylor, 26
When: March 13, 2020
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
What happened: A Jefferson County circuit judge issued five search warrants in pursuit of Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, convicted of drug-related crimes.
David McAtee, 53
When: June 1, 2020
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Atatiana Jefferson, 28
When: October 12, 2019
Where: Fort Worth, Texas
What happened: Overnight on October 12, Fort Worth officers responded to a call from a concerned neighbor who noticed the front door was left open at Jefferson’s home.
Elijah McClain, 23
When: August 24, 2019
Where: Aurora, Colorado
McClain “resisted contact” and a struggle ensued, according to a news release from police.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office launched a 14-month investigation into the Aurora police and fire departments. The investigation found the police department had a pattern of practicing racially biased policing and excessive force and had failed to record legally required information when interacting with the community.
The consent decree covers four areas identified in the Attorney General’s report: Racially Biased Policing, Use of Force, Documentation of Stops, and Ketamine and Other Chemical Restraints.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Alta Spells, Nick Valencia and Jade Gordon contributed to this report.