The eight Ohio police officers involved in the shooting death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, following a traffic stop last summer are back on active duty after a grand jury declined to indict any of them.
Akron Police Capt. Michael Miller confirmed the news to CNN in an email on Tuesday.
“Based on the independent investigation conducted by BCI and the Summit County grand jury’s decision not to indict, all eight officers are back on full-time, active duty,” Miller said, referring to Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
He added that the department’s internal investigation was “wrapping up and going through some final legal review,” which they expect will be released by the end of November.
On June 27, 2022, Akron police said Walker was driving a 2005 Buick when they attempted to stop him for traffic and equipment violations.
During a news conference in July 2022 when police released bodycam footage of the incident, police said Walker fled the stop, and about 40 seconds into the police chase, a gunshot was fired from his vehicle.
Several minutes later, Walker got out of his car and fled on foot, according to police.
Officers deployed Tasers to try and stop Walker, Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said, but they were unsuccessful.
Mylett said that moments later, Walker “stopped and quickly turned towards the pursuing officers,” and the police opened fire, killing him.
According to an autopsy by a Summit County medical examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler, Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance wounds or graze injuries.
Walker’s family released a statement on Tuesday through their attorney, Bobby DiCello, questioning the city’s handling of the incident.
“The Walker family is saddened by the way in which they continue to be ignored by the City of Akron,” the statement reads. “City leadership has never once reached out to discuss the employment of the eight officers or explain why the officers are being reinstated. While this decision reopens painful wounds for them, the family remains strong in their commitment to seeking Justice and Dignity for Jayland.”
In April, a grand jury decided against indicting the officers, concluding that they were legally justified in their use of force against Walker, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Walker’s family is suing the city.
The civil complaint, which was filed in June, alleges officers used excessive force and claims there is a “culture of violence and racism at the City of Akron’s Police Department.”
The family is seeking at least $45 million in damages – “$1 million for each bullet that struck Jayland Walker,” according to the suit.
In addition to the city, the list of defendants includes several members of the Akron Police Department.
CNN’s Polo Sandoval contributed to this report.
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