Relatives of other police shooting victims arrested in Akron during Jayland Walker protest

Protesters on June 30, 2022. (Source: WOIO)
Protesters on June 30, 2022. (Source: WOIO)(Source: WOIO)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 9:42 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 1:56 PM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A total of seven people were arrested late Wednesday during a Jayland Walker protest in Akron.

Jacob Blake, 55, of North Carolina, is charged with riot, resisting arrest, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.

Blake’s son, also named Jacob, was shot by a Kenosha, WI police officer in Aug. 2020. Blake survived his injuries.

Bianca Austin, 32, of Louisville, KY, is charged with riot, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse.

Austin is the aunt of Breonna Taylor, the woman shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers in March 2020.

Cortez Rice, 32, of Minnesota, is charged with riot, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse.

The Akron Municipal Court is closed Thursday, so all seven are scheduled to be arraigned remotely.

Akron police said Wednesday’s protests were peaceful until around 8:30 p.m.

At that time, police said some of the 50 or so protesters in front of the Akron Police Station began to block and disrupt the flow of traffic on High Street.

According to officers, they gave multiple orders to disperse and warnings were issued, but some protesters failed to comply with the orders and continued to block the intersection. Two men were then taken into custody.

During the ordeal, Akron police said they deployed chemical irritants from handheld canisters to clear the area and disperse the crowd.

After the protesters dispersed, police said about 100 people relocated to the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center, where they allegedly blocked Wabash Avenue.

EMS services had to be temporarily redirected, said police.

Since the weekend, more than 40 protesters have been arrested.

On Tuesday, 19 News covered the arraignments in Akron Municipal Court of four protesters.

The majority of protesters are from the Akron area, according to court documents.

“We fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble. Acts of violence and property damage are illegal and will not be permitted.” stated Akron police in a news release Thursday.

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Walker, of Akron, was shot and killed by Akron police on Monday, June 27, after leading officers on a chase.

On Sunday, July 3, Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan released body camera video of the chase and shooting.

Attorneys for the Walker family spoke after the chief and mayor’s news conference, calling for protesters to remain peaceful, but demanding answers.

“People want and deserve answers, and they shall have them. BCI will conduct a complete, fair and expert investigation,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “Body-worn camera footage is just one view of the whole picture – before drawing conclusions, the full review must take place.”

In a news release sent to the media on Sunday, Clay Cozart, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Akron Lodge 7, said, “We are at the beginning stages of this investigation and much work remains. The Akron FOP urges the public to withhold judgement until all the evidence is gathered and the investigation concludes.”

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