Akron City Council Mourns the Tragic Death of Jayland Walker

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AKRON CITY COUNCIL

OFFICE OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT MARGO SOMMERVILLE

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joan M. Williams, Council Chief of Staff

Email: jwilliams@akronohio.gov  

Phone:  330-375-2258

Akron City Council Mourns the Tragic Death of Jayland Walker

Akron, Ohio, July 6, 2022 – Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville and the Members of Council mourn the tragic loss of Jayland Walker.  “Our heartfelt sympathy and sincere condolences are extended to Jayland’s mother, Ms. Pamela Walker, sister Jada, extended family members, and friends. We are so sorry for your loss and the unimaginable pain you are experiencing at this time”, said President Sommerville. “Our thoughts are also with the officers involved and their families as they journey through the misfortune of being the focus of the investigation surrounding this devastating incident.”

We commend Mayor Horrigan and Police Chief Mylett for taking the unprecedented response of engaging the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the entire incident.  This was the right thing to do and, we believe, should become standard practice in such circumstances.

Since 2014, Akron City Council has enacted robust and effective legislation designed to provide for increased transparency and accountability in community policing, ensure public safety, and help build trust between citizens and the police. That legislation includes the following:

  • R-15-2021 Approving the Report of Recommendations of the Reimaging Public Safety Special Committee
  • O-159-2021 Enacting Title 3, Chapter 33, Article 3 of The Akron Code of Ordinances to Provide for Timely Release of Body Worn Camera Footage
  • R-110-2021 - Supporting H.R. 1280, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, and Urging Its Passage by the U.S. Senate.
  • R-168-2020 - Urging the City of Akron Police Department to Continue Its Ongoing Policies, Procedure, and Training, Which Promote Officer Accountability and Instill a Greater Confidence with the Public; Urging All State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Adopt Similar Policies, Procedures, and Training Requirements
  • O-169-2020 – Amending and Supplementing Title 3 “Administration,” Chapter 35 “Employment Policies,” Section 35.17 “Prohibited Public Safety Practices” of the Akron Codified Ordinances; (Choke Hold, Strangle Hold, Neck Hold)
  • O-225-2020 Proposing Charter Amendment be Placed on the November 2020 Ballot
  • O-291-2015 – Authorizing an Agreement with the State of Ohio for Funding from the 2015 Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Pilot Implementation Program
  • R-376-2014 - Urging Congress to Pass Legislation Enacting the "Body Worn Camera Partnership Program Proposed by President Obama
  • O-382-2014 – Authorizing an Agreement with Taser International for the Lease of Body-Worn Cameras for Use by the Akron Police Department

These pieces of legislation can be viewed at: https://onlinedocs.akronohio.gov/PublicAccess/. (Please select “Passed Legislation” under Document Type)

The City of Akron is a national leader in transparency and accountability in policing. Akron took the lead in Summit County in amending its Charter with measures to promote increased transparency and accountability.

We recognize that more needs to be done. As the legislative branch of our city’s government, Council will continue to do all that is within its power to engage in the legislative reform necessary so that Akron is a safe place to live for all its citizens. We pledge to work cooperatively with other entities to advocate for changes within their purview.

Along with the Walker family, we seek justice in this case with the understanding that justice will only come because of a searching investigation of all the facts.  That means we must await the results of the independent BCI investigation. We must find the strength to exercise patience and preserve peace amid the pain that we are all experiencing and allow for BCI’s review to be completed.

Pursuant to Section 141 of the Akron City Charter and Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Procedure for the Akron City Council, council meetings will be conducted remotely, using videoconference technology.

In deference to the challenges facing our city and residents at this time, the Council and Committee Meetings, and Public Hearings for July 11th will be completely virtual. There will be no physical access for members of the public or press. Real-time access to the meetings will be provided through a livestream of the videoconference on YouTube which can be accessed through our website: www.akroncitycouncil.org

Those that wish to participate in the July 11th public hearings via videoconference should contact the Clerk’s Office at 330-375-2256 or sbiviano@akronohio.gov.

Those that wish to participate in the Public Comment Period should fill out Public Comment Form, and submit to publiccomment@akronohio.gov by 4:00 p.m. on the date of the Council Meeting to receive information to join the meeting virtually for the purpose of providing public comment.

The public hearing on legislation proposing to increase campaign contributions previously scheduled for Monday, July 11th at 2:00 p.m. during the Rules Committee, and at 7 p.m. during Council Meeting has been postponed. That hearing will be rescheduled for a later date.

All other meetings will take place as scheduled. Learn more about all Council meetings at https://www.akroncitycouncil.org.   

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