Nearly 16 months after the fatal shooting of #JaylandWalker by eight #Akron, #Ohio Police Department officers, officials have revealed that the internal probe is undergoing a final legal review and is anticipated to be released by the end of November. During this period, all eight officers involved in the June 27, 2022 shooting have been reinstated to "full-time, active duty."
This decision was influenced by the independent review conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Summit County grand jury's decision not to indict the officers. Initially placed on paid administrative leave, the officers were later reassigned to "administrative duty," where they provided internal support in non-uniform roles.
In April of the current year, a grand jury issued a "no bill" decision, citing the officers' use of deadly force against Walker as justified under state law. Although Walker, a Black man, had fired a weapon from his car during a chase, he was unarmed at the time of his death. An autopsy revealed that over 40 police bullets had struck him. The incident, along with the release of body camera footage, sparked community outrage, leading to protests and a successful ballot initiative for a civilian oversight board for the police department.
Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosely expressed concerns about the officers' reinstatement, stating that many believe they should still be on administrative leave or desk duty.
"I think it gives some people some unease knowing that they're back out there, whether its giving officers unease that they are back out there and there are people that know who they are," Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosely said.
The Walker family has filed a $45 million lawsuit in federal court against the city of Akron, the eight officers, Mayor Dan Horrigan, and Police Chief Steve Mylett, alleging excessive force.
The reinstatement of all eight officers involved in the tragic shooting of Jayland Walker serves as a distressing reminder of the lack of accountability within the police system. Despite the community's outrage and concerns about their return to active duty, the decision reflects a systemic failure to address the excessive use of force and the tragic loss of Black lives.