More than 100 protesters marched in Ohio on Wednesday in protest of a grand jury’s decision not to charge cops who fatally shot an unarmed Black man last year.
To disperse the gathering, police employed what seemed to be chemical spray and other non-lethal weapons. According to the mayor’s office, police broke up the demonstration after it was designated a “unlawful assembly.” It was unclear whether any arrests were made.
Neither Akron police nor the mayor’s office immediately responded to requests for comment about Wednesday’s protest.
The protesters were venting anger over a grand jury’s decision on Monday not to indict eight Akron police officers who shot Jayland Walker 46 times last June.
The killing of Walker, 25, happened after police tried to carry out a traffic stop on him, but he led officers on a car chase through a residential area. Investigators have said that as he was driving, Walker fired at least one shot from a gun at police.
Walker eventually fled his car on foot – but left his gun in the car, investigators have said.
Police pursuing Walker on foot opened fire on him after mistakenly thinking he had reached into his waistband for his weapon.
The Walker family’s legal team derided the grand jury’s decision and said they would file a civil lawsuit against the city in June.
Walker’s death followed a spate of law enforcement killings of Black people in the U.S. that have triggered protests against racial injustice and police brutality, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.