Names of Akron cops in Jayland Walker shooting revealed
Names allegedly belonging to the eight Akron officers in the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker first appeared over the weekend on flyers stapled to telephone poles in West Akron.
The Chief of Police will neither confirm nor deny them as accurate. But they have since appeared on an anonymous website. Activists are circulating the list on social media. And on Monday evening, during a public comment period, a person using a nickname read them from the official city council minutes.
As a matter of principle, the Beacon Journal does not normally name unindicted suspects. The eight officers are currently under study by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for their use of deadly force, but they have not been charged. That decision will be up to a Summit County grand jury at the end of the state’s investigation, which could take months.
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Akron Police Department Capt. Dave Laughlin said Chief Steve Mylett was not commenting on the public release of the alleged names, which were released by an unnamed source less than three weeks after the chief took the eight officers into custody. paid leave and reassigned them to office duty.
By detailing his controversial reinstatement decisionMylett said the FBI is still investigating two threats committed against officers following the killing of Walker on June 27, who was unarmed and fleeing on foot when he was shot 46 times after leading officers in a car chase through the city in the during which police say the 25-year-old black man fired a single bullet from his car.
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“So far, they have not been identified,” Mylett told media Oct. 11. “So with the public knowing exactly who was involved in the shooting, I don’t think that information has come out. And, so, we’re going to take precautions to ensure their safety.
Mylett recalled officers to perform administrative work to address a staffing shortage. While the Bureau of Criminal Investigations continues its external review of lethal use of force, the Akron Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards and Accountability (or Internal Affairs) has not completed its review of the conduct of the officers and whether any procedure was violated in the Walker incident.
The police chief, speaking with the media last month, doubled down on security as the reason for not releasing the names of the eight officers. He spoke again of two threats transmitted by the FBI and deemed credible.
“These threats were just two months ago,” the chief said. “And I will not divulge names. I’m not going to put these officers in any more danger than they already have. There may come a time when the names will be released, after a BCI investigation and the work of the grand jury, but until then, I have the duty and responsibility not only to ensure the safety of the public, but also that of my employees.
Clay Cozart, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7, which represents sworn officers in Akron, did not pick up the phone but sent what he called a “general statement.”
“I don’t react to internet rumors of anarchists and hatemongers (sic) calling the police hogs and murderers and making false allegations which are refuted and when called threaten the councilman to meet them in a dark alley,” Cozart wrote.
The Reverend Robert DeJournett, pastor of the Walker family at St. Ashworth Temple of God in Christ Church in West Akron, referred the Beacon Journal to family legal counsel DiCello Levitt.
“We are aware that the alleged names of the eight Akron police officers involved in the shooting death of Jayland Walker this summer are circulating online and in the Akron community,” attorneys Bobby DiCello and Kenneth Abbarno said in a statement sent. by e-mail. “At this point, we have not verified the accuracy of this information and are unable to comment further at this time. We ask the community to continue to keep the Walker family in their thoughts.”
Who released the names of the Akron cops?
Posting the names on a WordPress website, an anonymous activist or group of activists said “47 pieces of information from the personnel files of the officers involved in the killing of Jayland Walker” were matched “with publicly available sources of information” to produce the “eight names of individuals employed by the Akron Police Department.”
The city has redacted names and any information it considers identifiable from personnel records it has made public, including to the Beacon Journal.
The anonymous website provides a link to a nine-page report detailing the evidence used to identify each of the eight officers, while placing responsibility for confirming the names on the city.
“While this report establishes likely matches to the identities of the eight officers involved, it is ultimately up to Akron officials to be transparent and hold the officers accountable,” the anonymous post on the website reads.
An anonymous researcher from a local activist group said he and his colleagues were “shocked” to see the names posted online. Several agencies have requested and received officers’ personal records, including the flagship newspaper, various media and others. The Beacon Journal reported on these recordings but did not make them public.
At the request of the Beacon Journal, the city’s legal department is compiling a comprehensive list of all individuals or entities who have requested personnel records for officers involved in Walker’s shooting. Only one request, the city said, used the eight names that now appear online when searching for more information. This request, however, was made using an encrypted email designed to conceal the identity of its sender. And it was done on September 14, almost a month before the officers were brought back to the office.
A message sent to this encrypted email on Tuesday was not returned.
Contact reporter Doug Livingston at [email protected] or 330-996-3792.