After Tyre Nichols’ death, Akron community members continue call for justice for Jayland Walker

Community members in Akron continue to call for justice for Jayland Walker after police killed a black man in Memphis this month.

Footage of Memphis police brutally beating Tire Nichols was released Friday, taking in nearby Akron residents who are still mourning the loss of Walker. Walker, who was black, was fatally shot by police in June after a car and a subsequent chase. The investigation into the shooting revealed that he was unarmed at the time.

Councilor Russ Neal said Akron should follow Memphis’ lead in publicizing the names of officers involved in these deaths. Neal said the community cannot heal Walker’s death until officials are held accountable.

“People are traumatized and can’t even begin to heal, and I can’t even imagine how the Walker family feels seeing this,” Neal said. “It’s about time the mayor and the city’s chief safety officer demanded these officers’ jobs and released their names.”

The eight officers involved in the shooting of Walker have been back on administrative duty since October.

This discussion comes as the council prepares to implement police reform measures passed by voters in the wake of Walker’s assassination.

Civil Police Inspectorate Logistics
Before Akron can create a new oversight body for civilian police, approved by voters in November, the city council must repeal another body it created at the request of Mayor Dan Horrigan in September.

The council’s Public Safety Committee heard comments from the mayor’s office on Monday about an ordinance and another that Assistant Legal Director Brian Angeloni said would clarify logistics, such as: B. How members will be selected and how long they will serve.

“This is basically about filling in those gaps, talking about the vacancies, how they’re going to be filled, you know who’s going to serve a two-year term versus four,” Angeloni said.

Elections for the mayor and council for the board of directors are to be announced next week. The council appoints six members and the mayor appoints three.

The Council is expected to vote on the regulations next week.

dash cams
Akron may be adding dashcams to its frontline police cruisers this summer.

The Public Safety Committee also on Monday forwarded a regulation authorizing the purchase of dash cams to the full Council for consideration next week.

If the ordinance is passed, not all police cruisers will have dash cams, Captain
Said Agostino Micozzi.

“There are 24 front patrol cars patrolling the city, two in each precinct, and then we have two cars,” Micozzi said. “We will also put these in the wagons.”

If approved, the city would strike a five-year deal with Axon Enterprises for $334,680. The first two years of the contract would be funded by the nearly $5 million grant the police department recently received from the state to help prevent violent crime.

“Our intention with Axon is to begin rollout this June,” said Micozzi. “That rules out supply chain issues, but they’ve told us that’s probably the quickest way to start putting those in the cars.”

Akron Police used to have dashcams, but after launching a bodycam program, they couldn’t fund both. Residents and activists began calling for dashcams to be reinstated after Walker’s death.

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