Akron community members return to the neighborhood where Jayland Walker died

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Passionate protests continue in Akron after the fatal police shooting of Jayland Walker.

On Friday, nearly 100 people gathered in the Firestone Park neighborhood, the very spot where Jayland Walker lost his life. The 25-year-old Akron man was killed during the early morning hours on June 27.

His body was riddled by more than 60 bullets.

Sierra Mason, an activist from Canton and one of the organizers tells 19 News they weren’t there so much to protest, but to come to honor Walker’s life as a community.

“We wanted to give the community some time to really heal and take up space in a very peaceful way, and to honor Jayland in the space where he was taken from us.”

The group of all ages and races counted in union the number of times bullets pierced Walker’s body.

Four people arrested for rioting during Wednesday night’s protest outside of the Justice Center stood out in the crowd.

Activist Michael Harris is the man who had both arms restrained by police in a dramatic cell phone video where a third Akron Police officer repeatedly punched Harris in the face.

Use of force is now under investigation.

In a jail photo, Harris’ wounds are evident on his forehead and lips.

“You see how they attack me,” Harris said. “But, it’s nothing to do with me though, they assassinated JWalker. That’s what they tried to do to me that night and us.”

Bianca Taylor, feeling the pain of the Walker family, traveled to Akron to take a stand and demand police accountability.

Taylor is the aunt of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her own home by Louisville Police.

Bianca Taylor referred to Akron Police as a gang of cops who attacked their constitutional right to protest. She also called Akron Police the worst she’s ever seen.

“The worst, the worst experience with a police department that I’ve had.”

Jacob Blake, Sr., who also had a son shot by police in another state says he was getting on the sidewalk at Wednesday’s protest when he says police attacked him, and caused him to have a seizure.

He alleged the use of force was not just by one officer.

“He was not only punching me, he was kicking and it wasn’t just him. It was a bunch of different officers.”

But, as the focus turned back to Walker, the community vowed to stand strong to get answers for his family, saying his death stands as a reminder that true police reform is needed when it comes to their treatment of the Black community, the change they feel is 400 years overdue.

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