Local leaders react to grand jury declining to indict officers in Jayland Walker case

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Protestors march the streets in 2022 after Jayland Walker was shot and killed by eight Akron police officers.
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A Summit County grand jury declined to indict eight Akron police officers who shot and killed Jayland Walker last June. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the decision Monday afternoon.

“The question for the grand jury was not whether this was a horrible tragedy, as it clearly was,” AG Yost said at a news conference after the decision was handed down. “The question the grand jury was charged with evaluating was whether the officers were justified in their actions. The grand jury – nine citizens who live in Summit County – determined that the officers were justified.”

Walker was running away on foot when he was shot 46 times on June 27 in a parking lot.

AG Yost said investigators conducted over 100 interviews during the course of the investigation.

A special prosecutor presented the BCI evidence to the grand jury that issued a “no bill” indictment in the case, meaning the jurors determined there was not sufficient cause to indict the officers involving in the shooting.

“This case took more than a week because of the volume of evidence presented,” Yost said. “It’s important to note that the job of my office in this case was to investigate and present evidence to the grand jury. The grand jury was instructed about the law by the judge who oversees it, not by the prosecutors, to avoid any question about the accuracy of the instruction.”

Akron councilwoman Tara Mosley issued the following statement regarding the decision not to indict the officers involved:

The grand jury has deliberated and decided not to indict the officers who killed Jayland Walker. I understand that there are people in this city who will not trust that this decision is legitimate.
I believe that we should have done more to give people faith in the process. This would include more transparency from the government in the immediate wake of Walker’s killing. Also, we should not have prematurely boarded up and fortified the
city, making it look more like a war zone than a place where jurors could peacefully deliberate, consider the evidence, and make a decision.
Still, putting aside that we could have done more to avoid undermining trust in the grand jury’s decision, that decision is still limited. The grand jury may have concluded that there was not sufficient probable cause to charge the officers who killed Jayland Walker with a crime. But they did not, and could not, decide that it was just to kill Jayland Walker, or that it was wise or right to kill Jayland Walker, or whether the law should change to better protect people like Jayland Walker. Those decisions are not for the grand jury; they are for the people of Akron. And the people of Akron have made their decision exceedingly clear. They want an accountable police department that keeps the peace in such a way that keeps us all safe equally.

Councilwoman tara mosley