Center For Policing Equity Issues Statement on the Brutal Police Shooting Death of Jayland Walker

July 01 2022

On Monday morning, 25-year-old Doordash driver Jayland Walker was brutally killed by eight police officers in Akron, Ohio. The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) extends our deepest sympathies to and stands in solidarity with Walker's mother, sister, and loved ones, along with everyone in Akron now grappling with the trauma of this extraordinarily violent, senseless, and unnecessary killing.

The Akron Police Department alleges that officers had been attempting to pull Walker over for a "traffic equipment violation" when Walker drove away, jumping out of his still-moving vehicle after a four-minute chase. The eight officers then fired more than 90 rounds at the young man, more than 60 of which entered his body, mutilating it; they then handcuffed Walker's dead body where it lay. A Summit County Medical Examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

At the time of his death, Walker was unarmed. Police allege that a firearm and bullet casings were later found in his car. Still, even assuming that is the truth, Ohio had passed a concealed carry law just two weeks prior, allowing Ohioans without criminal records permitless concealed carry. Walker's family has said that his only previous encounter with the police was "a speeding ticket," which would mean Walker was well within his rights to be in possession of a concealed firearm if indeed he was.

Yet neither a person's arrest record nor their ownership of a firearm is sufficient justification for riddling their body with bullets after an unsuccessful traffic stop, nor is it an excuse for handcuffing their mangled and lifeless body. We cannot help but note that when a young White man slaughtered ten Black people in a Buffalo supermarket in May, the murderer was taken into custody without a single shot being fired from law enforcement.

Black drivers are far more likely to be stopped than White drivers, and a 2022 report found that, between 2016 and 2021, police killed 400 people while conducting these stops, with an average of more than one fatality per week. Those killed were disproportionately Black, and in the vast majority of cases, the officers responsible faced no disciplinary consequences.   

Jayland Walker's death was not only senseless; it was barbarous. Those responsible must be held accountable, along with the structures and systems that allow for such barbarity. CPE is committed to advancing the work of identifying and reducing the root causes of racial disparities in law enforcement, toward a future of genuine public safety, for all.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and helping to reduce the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, we use data to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.