AKRON, Ohio — Activists in Akron are calling for change following the grand jury's decision Monday to not indict the eight police officers involved in Jayland Walker's death.
Officers fired 94 shots at Walker during a span of 6.7 seconds after he fled his vehicle following a police chase in June 2022, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Some activists said they are still waiting for each of those bullets fired to be accounted for, information that was promised to community members early in the investigation into the shooting.
Overnight, protesters gathered to call for accountability and change. City leaders blocked a section of High Street downtown as a "demonstration zone" and barricaded some city buildings as a precaution.
A website, akronupdates.com, is available for community members, providing information about road closures, planned demonstrations and mental health resources.
Police said Walker fired a shot from his vehicle 40 seconds into a chase last June. Officers chased the car on a freeway and city steets until Walker bailed from the still-moving vehicle and was killed while running into a parking area wearing a ski mask, according to police body cam video.
Police said he represented a deadly threat. Officers found a handgun, loaded magazine and wedding ring on the driver's seat of the car.
Attorneys for the Walker family said they plan to file civil lawsuits against the city and the officers.
Akron NAACP President Judi Hill said this decision is the beginning of change.
"I want to put the city on notice," she said. "So, we didn't get an indictment here, but there's an indictment on the city of Akron. That there is change that has to occur. We have to change the policing in our city. We have to stop chasing people for a tail light. For crying out loud."
Akron-area Rep. Emilia Sykes said she plans to request the Department of Justice investigate the shooting.
"I was born here, I was raised here," she said. "I chose to serve my community. And I'm not gonna run away from this challenge. None of us. I'm asking all of you to stand up for Jayland and ensure we have justice. Not only for him, but sons all across this country."
Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett said he has no plans to release the names of the officers involved in the shooting citing safety concerns for those officers. He said they will remain on administrative duties for the "foreseeable future" and said an internal investigation into the shooting is underway.
“We have a lot of work to do to find a path forward," Mylett said. "Because in the end, we need each other. Where trust has been lost or fractured we will work hard to earn it back.”
Clarence Tucker, Akron's deputy mayor for public safety, acknowledged the postiive steps the city is taking moving forward, including the creation of a citizens' police oversight board.
"We ask everyone to commit their energy to shaping the city we all want," he said. "A city of peace. A city of hope. A city of equity. And opportunity for all."
Protests are expected to continue in the coming days and weeks following the grand jury's decision.
Akron Public Schools canceled classes and activities Tuesday.