Friday marks the third day of protests over the Akron police shooting death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, an Akron DoorDash driver who was killed by multiple shots following a police chase on Monday. Previous protests were small, a couple dozen people. But as news of Walker's death spread across the city and national organizations like Black Lives Matter took note, today's protest downtown is expected to grow. Reporters and photographers from The Akron Beacon Journal will be reporting live from today's protest. Follow their reporting as it unfolds below.
murder by police
When Lajuana Phillips was shot and killed by a police officer in late 2018, she was a mother of three children, a daughter and a cousin who was described by family as “a hard worker,” according to an online memorial. But Phillip’s death received little media attention. There were a few local stories when she was first identified by police, and others detailing the circumstances that led to her being shot at six times. But that was about it. Phillips isn’t alone. Crystal Danielle Ragland, who was killed in Huntsville, Alabama; Latasha Nicole Walton of Florida; and April Webster of South Carolina, to name a few, also received little news coverage after their fatal encounters with law enforcement. Most people fatally shot by police get little to no attention from national media outlets.
(April 11, 2021) - This afternoon, Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer and then left lying in the streets for hours in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. Wright, age 20, was in his own car when he was stopped by police. A few minutes later, the officer shot and killed him, just a few miles from where Derek Chauvin choked George Floyd to death. This is but the latest in a long and violent string of murders of people of color — specifically Black men — by the cops. Protesters gathered almost immediately to express their rage both at the murder of Wright and at the ongoing problems of racist police violence. The cops responded aggressively, arriving in riot gear and shooting rubber bullets into the crowd, injuring at least one protester.
Drugs have long been used to justify racist police-perpetrated violence, and the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street corner last May is, thus far, no different. In his opening statement in a Minneapolis courtroom on Monday, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric J. Nelson spoke at length about Floyd’s health problems and drug use in a clear attempt to cast doubt on the prosecution’s central argument: Floyd was killed because Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for mercy and gasped, “I can’t breathe.” The prosecution saw this coming from miles away. Attempts by Chauvin’s defense to blame the victim began shortly after Floyd was handcuffed and killed in police custody — an alleged murder that was captured on video before sparking mass protests against racist police violence in Minneapolis and across the nation.
Hundreds rallied in downtown Louisville, Kentucky and marched through the streets on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was gunned down in her own home by city police officers—none of whom have been charged for her death. "This is not a celebration. This is the anniversary of something that should not have happened," one speaker said at a Louisville event, where Taylor's family, racial justice activists, and ordinary members of the community gathered to mourn the loss of Breonna and demand action from lawmakers and police departments beyond the small-scale reforms that followed the March 2020 killing. While Louisville in June banned no-knock raids of the kind that led to Taylor's death, local activists say far more needs to be done to hold the officers responsible for Taylor's death account
A day before jury selection in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis calling for justice and police reform. Hundreds of people marched Sunday from Hennepin County Government Center through downtown Minneapolis, at one point stopping at an intersection to read the names of more than 400 people killed by police in the state of Minnesota. Organizers for the event, "I Can't Breathe" Silent March for Justice, asked people to wear black and bring flowers and signs. Civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong, who read the names of those killed by police, asked a group of volunteers to carry a white coffin that a member of the community had made to remind everyone that George Floyd was "lynched" on May 25 of last year.