Widespread protests in the name of Jayland Walker, the 25-year-old who was fatally shot by Akron, Ohio police, have found many descending on the Summit County city to call out authorities for such wanton will of destruction.
Cleveland.com reports that several people, including the father of Jacob Blake Jr. and the aunt of Breonna Taylor, were charged last Wednesday with rioting, disorderly conduct, and failure to disperse. Walker was struck with bullets 60 times, according to authorities and the Walker family’s attorney, and the shooting has prompted Mayor Daniel Horrigan to issue a curfew.
Jacob Blake, 55, of Winston Salem, North Carolina, and a 37-year-old man were charged after they continued to block the intersection, police said. The former was taken to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center, and a warrant for his arrest was issued the following day Thursday.
Bianca Austin, 41, Breonna Taylor’s aunt, was arrested and immediately posted a $2,500 bond on the same day.
During the protest, officers deployed tear gas to disperse the crowd. When the demonstrators left the police station, nearly 100 people relocated to the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center. “We fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble,” police said in a statement. “[But] acts of violence and property damage are illegal and will not be permitted.”
The senseless death of Jayland Walker has placed Akron and its police force in the national spotlight.
President Joe Biden was in Cleveland recently where he made a speech, commenting that the Justice Department was “monitoring the situation,” and Dave Yost, the Ohio attorney general whose Bureau of Criminal Identification is investigating the matter, added that a “thorough examination” would be held to fairly assess what happened on the night of Jayland Walker’s death.