Akron councilman holds conversation for healing, solutions following Jayland Walker shooting

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s been 30 days since the deadly shooting of Jayland Walker by Akron Police.

As the community waits for the outcome of the investigation, a conversation was held to talk about the impact of a case that’s not only sparked protests in Akron, but Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

The impact felt as a family mourns, the community demands answers, police officers are threatened and businesses impacted by the unrest.

Ward eight Akron City Councilman Shammas Malik tells 19 News, it’s time to work towards healing by moving forward with solutions.

“We’re seeing a lot of hurt, we’re seeing a lot of trauma, seeing a lot of pain. It’s clear it’s impacting a lot of people. So, I think it’s really important that people have an opportunity to talk to one another about it and share perspectives,” Malik said.

Phillip Kroll, 86, of Akron says he’s appalled by the Walker case, but knows police have a dangerous job.

However, he questions who was in charge that night, “It’s a high stress job and I understand that, but I still think there should be some kind of order, somebody should have the responsibility to call it off.”

But, Kroll said that’s not the only issue in his view, “Oh, I definitely think there’s a racial component. It’s something that hasn’t gone away and we haven’t done enough to address it.”

One woman who declined to be interviewed, made it a point to say while police are under a microscope - what about people who run from law, refuse to stop and put everyone in danger - including themselves?

David Perry, a downtown Akron business owner said he’s all for a Citizen’s Review Committee for the sake of accountability,

But he said other protocols need to be put in place as well, “I would also suggest on the front end, police recruitment and the vetting of police based on their previous record with other police departments. As much as possible, I would like the police department to look like the people who are policed, not just race, but ethnicity and neighborhood. But we have some distance to go on that.”

Councilman Malik is leading the charge for a Citizen’s Review Board similar to Cleveland and Columbus, and feels it should happen sooner, rather than later.

“A Citizen’s Review Board is totally independent of the police department, independent of the Mayor’s office, and they can help create a little bit more legitimacy and a little bit more trust.”

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