AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) – It has been 30 days since the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker by Akron police.
As the community awaits the outcome of the investigation, a conversation has taken place to discuss the impact of a case that has not only sparked protests in Akron, but also in Washington, DC and Chicago.
The impact felt as a family mourns, the community demands answers, police are threatened and businesses are affected by unrest.
Shammas Malik, councilor for Ward Eight in Akron, told 19 News it was time to work on healing by offering solutions.
“We see a lot of injuries, we see a lot of trauma, we see a lot of pain. Obviously it affects a lot of people. So I think it’s really important that people have the opportunity to talk about it and share their views,” Malik said.
Phillip Kroll, 86, of Akron, says he is appalled by the Walker case, but knows the police have a dangerous job.
However, he wonders who was in charge that night: “It’s a very stressful job and I understand that, but I still think there should be some sort of order, someone should be in charge of cancel it.”
But, Kroll said that wasn’t the only issue in his view, “Oh, I definitely think there’s a racial component to it. It’s something that hasn’t gone away and we haven’t did enough to fix it.
A woman who declined to be interviewed insisted that while the police are under the microscope – what about the people who are running from the law, refusing to stop and putting everyone at risk – y understood themselves?
David Perry, a downtown Akron business owner, said he favors a citizens’ review board for the sake of accountability,
But he said other protocols also needed to be put in place: ‘I would also suggest at the start, police recruitment and police vetting based on their background with other police services. As much as possible, I would like the police department to resemble the people being policed, not just race, but ethnicity and neighborhood. But we still have a long way to go on that.
Councilman Malik is leading the charge of a similar Citizen Review Board in Cleveland and Columbus, and believes it should happen sooner rather than later.
“A Citizens’ Review Board is completely independent of the police department, independent of the mayor’s office, and it can help create a little more legitimacy and a little more trust.”
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