“We are deeply concerned that the Akron Police Department has taken it upon itself to act as the city’s censor in determining which expressions of free speech are appropriate and which are not.” Said Attorney in statement.
Jayland Walker’s legal team said it was “disappointed” by a video purporting to show Akron police officers removing a “Justice for Jayland” sign from the Akron district.
In a statement to TheGrio, the Walker family’s attorneys, Bobby DiCello and Ken Abbarno, criticized the police.
“Our legal team has visited these locations and found only those critical of the APD and those supporting the Walker family cause, while other signs of support for various causes and businesses remain. I was disappointed to discover that it had been removed.”
“We are deeply concerned that the Akron Police Department has taken it upon itself to act as the city’s censor in determining what free speech is appropriate and what is not.” said the statement.
TheGrio left an email and voicemail message for Lt. Michael Miller, the division’s press and information officer, but was unable to reach him for comment.
Walker, 25, was killed early in the morning on July 27 in Akron, Ohio, after being shot by police. Police tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Walker says he didn’t comply. Authorities say there were shots in the car Walker was driving and he got out of the car and fled police. Officers say Walker eventually turned to them, eight officers shot 90 times and punched Walker 46 times. made it
In a lengthy interview with theGrio in August, the Walker family described the ongoing pain they’ve been experiencing with the loss of their son, brother and cousin.
Since then, the police have reinstated eight officers. At a community rally, Police Chief Steve Mylett said there was a shortage of officers and they needed active duty officers.
The attorneys criticized the decision, pointing out that the Ohio Criminal Investigative Service had not finished investigating the shooting.
Mylett “cited a critical shortage of police officers and argued that essential police services for the community needed to be curtailed,” the statement said. , does it really constitute an essential police service? Do we really need to reinstate police officers?”
On November 28th, Summit County Crime Watch posted a video on their Facebook page. The video claims that the Akron police show police cars signing in “Justice for Jayland”. The post claims that officers “removed” the sign from the Akron area.
Investigators from Walker’s legal team said they visited the area on Dec. 1 and saw signs advertising things like junk removal, drain installation, and detox facilities. Investigators did not mark the area under investigation with “Jayland’s Justice” signs.
Miller told the Akron Beacon Journal that police were aware of the situation and were investigating.
Walker’s attorney remains unsatisfied.
“These signs were installed in our community as a peaceful protest and their removal shows a serious level of tone deafness by the city,” the statement said. officials have preached to ‘keep the peace’ since shooting Jayland last June, but they seem to have done little to address peaceful criticism of their actions. ”
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Jayland Walker’s attorney claims the police have removed the ‘Justice for Jayland’ sign.