Akron, OH. - Jayland Walker faced an untimely death on June 27, 2022, at approximately 12:30 a.m.
Media outlets reported that Akron's police officers killed Walker during a foot chase following a hot pursuit vehicle stop. According to media reports, eight officers fired more than 90 bullets toward Walker and struck him approximately 60 times. Walker's family funeralized Jayland on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. They held the funeral service at the Akron Civic Center.
Since Walker's untimely death, protesters took to the street, and several small businesses and Mayor Dan Horrigan set a curfew for the city. In response, Akron's Black Elected Officials expressed concerns while commanding action from the Mayor's Office and the Police Department. "Firing 90 times on anyone unarmed is more than excessive. It's inhumane, unjust, and immoral. The citizens of Akron deserve accountability and immediate transparency. Regardless of what Mr. Walker did, he did not deserve this. No one unarmed does. The over-killings of Black bodies need to stop. We deserve better from our police. Jayland Walker's life was not indispensable. My heart goes out to his family and all who loved him. This matter is not about the traffic violation or what you believe he did last year; this is about the lack of respect and regard for Black lives. We need answers," scoffed Akron School Board President Dr. N. J. Akbar (Akron).
As a result, Law and Policy Analyst Dr. Cassandra McDonald developed legislation for the city of Akron's Mayor Daniel Horrigan. In her initial letter, McDonald informs the Mayor that the proposed Resolution is to address and identify ways municipalities can proactively address the encounter between police and the community during traffic law violations. "You must consider the number of injuries and deaths across the Nation as it relates to stops for minor traffic violations. One incident is too many. As a body of "people," citizens and legislators alike, we must work towards impactful, long-term resolutions. This proposed Resolution can do just that. I have drafted a Resolution proposal to adopt legislation limiting unnecessary contact between law enforcement officers and commuters who travel within municipalities throughout the State of Ohio," wrote Dr. McDonald.
McDonald also contacted several councilpersons of the City of Akron. "Council also share some responsibility. We have laws on the books. Why are the laws not being enforced? Why are we chasing people when the Clerk of Courts can issue citations," Dr. McDonald tells Brown on Cleveland.
The Proposed Resolution reads as follows:
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING POLICIES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF TRAFFIC TICKETS FOR MINOR MISDEMEANOR AND MISDEMEANOR INFRACTIONS TO BE ISSUED BY THE CLERK OF COURTS AS PROVIDED UNDER OHIO TRAFFIC RULE 3(E)(1)(2),(F), FOR THE CITY OF AKRON
WHEREAS, the City of Akron (hereafter City") is a municipal corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of Ohio
WHEREAS, the City Council is the legislative body of the city;
WHEREAS, the city desires to comply with Ohio Traffic Code Rule 3(E)(1)(2)(2), and (F) in consideration and concern for public health and safety in community policing, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II, Section (C)(4) "specifically "commerce "meaning" travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication, and Section (d), Discrimination or segregation by an establishment is supported by State action within the meaning of this title if such Discrimination or segregation (1) is carried on under any color of law, statute, ordinance, or regulation; or, (2) is carried on under color of any custom or usage required or enforced by officials of the State or political subdivision thereof; or (3) is required by action of the State or political subdivision thereof;
WHEREAS, the city recognizes that this "Resolution" shall execute a law that is already in place under Ohio Traffic Rule 3(E)(1)(2)(2), and (F); and that the city shall enforce Sections and Paragraphs of the laws as mentioned above; except that an officer shall not serve misdemeanor or minor misdemeanor tickets on the alleged violators' person EXCEPT concerning a commission of a felony before the stop, and other egregious activity or behavior that puts society in immediate threat of severe bodily harm and injury, or death in the felony commission of a crime;
WHEREAS, the city shall enforce Ohio Traffic Rule 3(E)(1)(2) and shall refrain from enforcing the section of Ohio Traffic Rule 3 (E)(1)(2)(F) as it relates to serving an alleged traffic violator on its person by submitting the traffic citation/ticket to the Clerk of Court's office to be executed;
WHEREAS, the city shall recognize its own "Traffic Enforcement Procedure" policy effected in November 2019 and later, whose objective was to create a high uniformity in the enforcement of traffic laws (P-2019-001);
WHEREAS, the city, in enforcing Custodial Arrest under the city's "Traffic Enforcement Procedure" policy (P-2019-001) and Ohio Traffic Rule 3(E)(1)(2), and (F), shall first attempt to issue a traffic citation through the Clerk of Courts for a minor misdemeanor or misdemeanor or misdemeanor offenses instead of a person to person traffic stops and police pursuits by foot or in a vehicle when the crime is: 1) un-arrestable, 2) waiverable, 3) non-life threatening, and 4) non-emergent with no immediate or egregious public safety threat; including those that are not related to the commission of a felony crime or those related to felony drunk driving (except when societal harm or personal harm exists). The City of Akron shall immediately employ Ohio Traffic Rule 3(E)(1)(2)(2) for the issuance of traffic citations/ticket paper and electronic tickets, which shall be sent to the Clerk of Courts by law enforcement officers for execution;
WHEREAS, the city shall enforce Ohio Traffic Rule 3 (F)(1)(2) for the enactment of utilizing technology to implement the issuance of a minor misdemeanor and misdemeanor traffic citations; the usage of "Traffic Law Photo Monitoring Devices," R.C. 4511.093, as part of Law & Public Policy concerning Traffic Enforcement Procedures.
WHEREAS, at all times when an officer of the law is serving in their capacity to enforce Traffic law, and when the officer calls the license plate number into LEADS; and at the point in which the officer calls into dispatch; and at the moment when an officer activates their dash cam; and at the moment when the alleged violators' vehicle's plate or tag number is clear enough to be read and recorded for the Clerk of Courts to receive the "Uniform Traffic Ticket" or electronic version of the Uniform Traffic Ticket, then the law enforcement officer and appropriate authorities shall submit the ticket(s) to the City of Akron's Clerk of Courts to serve a summons for fines, a notice of appearance, a notice of waiver, and all other violations as deemed appropriate and necessary to appropriately affect the authority to issue, etc., and refrain from contact with the alleged violator(s);
WHEREAS, the Clerk of Courts shall issue a notice/summons/warrant, etc., to the alleged violator within three days of the violation describing the remedy to rest the complaint, notice, summons, waiver, or warrant;
WHEREAS, all felony stops shall continue to be enforced as prescribed by the city's current laws, policies, and procedures; and in a manner that demonstrates concern for protecting the public health and safety of citizens;
WHEREAS, the city acknowledges the consensus among citizens and law enforcement that the governance of crime, punishment, and justice has created polarization in community policing, and by adopting this Resolution, the city remains committed to enacting new approaches in training, cultural sensitivity, and will work towards building better relationships between community members and stakeholders;
WHEREAS, City Council desires to adopt this Resolution as an acknowledgment of civil, social, and human rights for all set forth herein;
Dr. McDonald says, "The overall goal of the Resolution is to reduce the number of high-speed chases for a minor misdemeanor (MM) and misdemeanor (M) offenses for traffic and equipment violations. The Resolutions will also utilize sections of the law that gives legal authority to municipalities to issue MM and M traffic and equipment tickets and citations to the Clerk of Courts to serve upon the alleged violator for the execution of the law."
Mayor Horrigan nor Akron City Council has responded yet to this proposed Resolution. As members of the City Council and Leaders of the Akron Community convene to research resolutions, we will monitor the matter to inquire if the Mayor and City leaders will consider this proposal.