The city officials of Akron, Ohio, officially canceled their Fourth of July festival this past weekend in the wake of a video clip showing police officers firing on and killing a black DoorDash driver who allegedly fled from police officials last week.
For the first time since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, The city’s well-known Rib, White, & Blue Festival was slated to run from Friday out through Monday. However, city officials entirely canceled the festivities as law enforcement still struggles to deal with the currently raging protests about the officer-involved shooting death of Jayland Walker, aged 25.
“I completely understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this holiday weekend,” stated Dan Horrigan, the Mayor of Akron, in a release. “Independence Day is meant to be a celebration and a time of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration.”
Horrigan also stated that the video showing police shooting Walker was “heartbreaking” and “hard to take in” while urging people to stay calm throughout the investigations.
The chapter of the NAACP for Akron put together a rally and subsequent march in downtown Akron late Sunday evening to go along with the release for the video clip. The legal representation for the Walker family, Bobby DiCello, labeled the video as entirely “brutal.”
“It’s going to stir up some passion. It’s going to make people uneasy,” DiCello stated just before the release of the video to the public.
Ford Fischer, a primary source documentarian, claimed in a social media post on Sunday that “fully peaceful” protests have started to crop up in Akron.
“Activists divided into two groups – some at a planned program outside city hall emphasizing voting, reformism etc; other half outside police station,” he reported.
Back on the 27th of June, authorities in Akron stated that they follow Walker due to the car he was driving having been involved in a recent crime from the previous day. After failing to stop for officer, speeding away through a residential neighborhood, and shooting at the police, Walker bailed out of the car as it was still moving at a barricade.
Officers stated they fired up to 60 shots at Walker once he bailed out of the moving car and fired upon the police.
Despite not having a gun with him as he fled, Police Chief Stephen Mylett stated that in the video Walker could be seen reaching for something at his waistline and turning as he fled which was what prompted police to open fire.
“It was difficult to watch, and shocking,” Mylett stated about the released bodycam footage, which clearly showed police officers moving in on Walker’s vehicle. “I’m not going to pass judgment [until the investigation is completed].”