Protests in the United States after the publication of a video of the killing of a black man by police

Several hundred protesters marched Sunday in Akron, Ohio, after body camera footage was released showing police shooting a black man dead with several dozen bullets.

As anger escalated over the latest police killing of a black man in the United States and authorities called for calm, the crowd marched to City Hall with banners such as “Justice for Jayland.”

The slogan refers to Jayland Walker, 25, who was killed on Monday after police tried to stop his car for a traffic violation, police said.

Sunday marked the fourth day of protests in a row. The demonstrations were peaceful, but there was a tense moment when some protesters approached the police line and yelled at them.

After the first rally, a crowd of protesters remained on the street.

US police shooting
This promotional image shows a gun, a loaded magazine, and a gold ring that police say they found in Jayland Walker’s car during a stop in Akron, Ohio. Photo: AFP/Akron Police Department

Fearing possible unrest, authorities in the city of 190,000 people moved snowplows and other heavy equipment to the police station to act as a barrier.

After initially providing a few details about the shooting, Akron authorities released two videos Sunday: one is a compilation of bodycam footage, still footage from the bodycam and voice-over, and the other is the full bodycam footage of the entire chase and shooting. .

A voice-over explained that Walker didn’t stop and drove away. The police began a car chase and stated that a shot had been fired from Walker’s car.

After several minutes of pursuit, Walker got out of the car while it was still moving and fled on foot. The officers tried to immobilize him with a taser, but he continued to run.

Several officers finally pursued Walker to the parking lot. Body camera footage is too blurry to clearly see what’s going on, but an initial police statement released after the shooting said he behaved in such a way that officers believed he posed a “deadly threat.”

All of the officers at the scene opened fire on Walker, firing several times in a row.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

US police shooting
Jayland Walker, 25, is seen on foot during a traffic stop in Akron, Ohio, in this police body camera image provided by the Akron Police Department on July 3, 2022. Photo: AFP/Akron Police Department

The incident was the latest death of an African-American citizen at the hands of the police, events that sparked massive protests against racism and police brutality.

“Many will want to publicly express their dissatisfaction, and I fully support our residents’ right to peaceful assembly,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan told a press conference, saying he was “heartbroken” by the events.

“But I hope the community will agree that violence and destruction is not the answer.”

He also said that an independent investigation is underway.

Police Chief Steve Mylett said he did not know the exact number of bullets fired at Walker, but the medical examiner’s report “pointed to more than 60 wounds on Mr. Walker’s body.”

He added that eight officers involved in Walker’s death have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

The authorities canceled the festival, scheduled for the weekend of 4 July.

Basketball star LeBron James, an Akron native, tweeted Sunday that he was praying for his city.

Matthew Hatcher © Agence France-Presse