The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the release of body camera footage of the shooting of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, killed by police after being pulled over early Monday morning for a traffic violation.
While details are still developing, media have reported Akron police shot at Walker nearly 100 times, resulting in him being shot over 60 times. Police have also confirmed that Walker was unarmed when shot.
“Our hearts are with Jayland Walker’s family and loved ones affected by this tragic fatal shooting,” said Kristine Woodworth, a volunteer leader with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Jayland Walker should be alive today, and we join in calling for a thorough investigation into this terrible shooting.”
Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found adoption of use-of-force reform policies—exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, de-escalation, duty to intervene, restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles, and warning before shooting—was associated with fewer people killed by police.
Every year, police in the US shoot and kill over 1,000 people, and Black people are victims at a disproportionate rate. Black people are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and according to Mapping Police Violence, Black people were 4.9 times as likely to be killed by police as white people in Ohio from 2013 to 2022. From 2013 to 2022, 269 people in Ohio have been killed by police.