The Akron Police Department on Tuesday said it had completed its internal investigation of the eight officers involved in, a 25-year-old Black man, and found that the officers complied with department policies.
Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett's review came a little more than seven months after that the eight officers' use of deadly force was legally justified and did not warrant the filing criminal charges.
Walker, who was a resident of Akron, Ohio, was pulled over shortly after midnight on June 27, 2022, for minor equipment and traffic violations. Police say Walker fled and fired a shot from his car less than a minute into the pursuit. Police releaseda week later that showed Walker dying in a hail of gunfire.
A handgun, a loaded magazine and a wedding ring were found on the driver's seat of his car.
Mylon wrote that he directed the Akron Police Department to conduct an internal investigation of the shooting after the grand jury had completed its review.
"The most important and significant question that needs to be answered is whether the officers' use of deadly force ... was in accordance with APD policies," Mylett wrote.
He found that the officers complied with the department's policies, and that the grand jury's decision was "predicated on the use of force being objectively reasonable."
Once Walker shot at officers from his vehicle, the situation "dramatically changed from a routine traffic stop to a significant public safety and officer safety issue," Mylett wrote, describing the ensuing dynamic as "very fluid and very dangerous."
Mylett pointed to Walker wearing a ski mask "on a warm June night," refusing multiple commands to show his hands, and reaching into his waistband before raising his arm in a shooting posture. "This caused officers to believe he was still armed and intended on firing upon officers. Officers then fired to protect themselves," Mylett wrote.
The blurry body camera footage released after the shooting did not clearly show what authorities say was a threatening gesture Walker made before he was shot. Police chased him for about 10 seconds before officers fired from multiple directions, a burst of shots that lasted 6 or 7 seconds.
Citing the use of deadly force being justified when an officer is at imminent risk of serious bodily harm of death, Mylett said the shooting, "while certainly tragic," was objectively reasonable.
Walker's death receivedfrom activists in the weeks following the shooting. The NAACP and an attorney for Walker's family called on the Justice Department to open a civil rights investigation.
Walker's family described his death as the brutal and senseless shooting of a man who was unarmed at the time and whose fiancée recently died, the Associated Press reported.
After the grand jury's decided in April to acquit the officers of criminal charges, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said it was critical to remember that Walker had fired at police, and that he "shot first," according to the AP.
A county medical examiner said Walker was shot at least 40 times. The autopsy also said no illegal drugs or alcohol were detected in his body.
The eight officers initially were placed on leave, but they3 1/2 months after the shooting.
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