Ohio City Declares State of Emergency as Jayland Walker Protests Turn Violent - Tucker
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Ohio City Declares State of Emergency as Jayland Walker Protests Turn Violent

The mayor of Akron, Ohio, declared a state of emergency as protests became violent after police released body camera footage related to the fatal police shooting of Jayland Walker.

“As night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a July 4 statement. “There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron. Small businesses up and down Main St. have had their windows broken. We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew, and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for tonight.”

The curfew will remain effective without further notice for downtown Akron between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The city also shut the Patterson Park Community Center and the Akron Fulton Airport.

The mayor called on protesters to stay peaceful.

“As I stated yesterday, I fully support our residents’ right to peacefully assemble. What we have been calling for since the beginning, and what the Walker family and many community leaders and faith leaders have also urged, is peace,” he said.

Walker, a 25-year-old black male, died on June 27 after police officers shot him multiple times.

Local residents and activists protested after the death of Walker. The protests escalated after the police released the body camera footage of the police shooting.

The protests turned violent late on July 3. Protesters threw water bottles and other objects at the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center, broke windows of snowplows parked by the city to block off the street, launched smoke bombs into the streets, and set fire to two dumpsters, Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Police deployed tear gas and stun grenades in response.

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