AKRON, Ohio — Shortly after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday that the eight Akron police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker would not be charged, the state released all the evidence that led a special grand jury to make that decision .
While many questions remain regarding Walker’s motives the night he led police on a car chase and was fatally shot, the AG’s website now hosts hundreds of files containing interviews, reports, photos, video and audio clips for public review.
“As you will see, their work was extensive, thorough,” Yost said of the AG’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, whose investigation has been conducted for the past nine months.
Yost began providing evidence in police-involved shooting investigations several years ago, he said, to help communities understand exactly what happened.
“And to know that the investigation was thorough, expert and independent,” Yost said. “To know the truth.”
Walker’s file includes about 300 links, beginning with a 227-page prosecutor’s summary that Senior Assistant AG Anthony Pearson highlighted during the AG’s press conference. Pearson is one of the prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury last week, Yost said.
The prosecutor’s summary offers a detailed account of the night of June 27, 2022, the night Walker was killed, and includes photographs, charts and maps.
Walker was shot after leading Akron police on a car and foot chase, eluding officers who tried to stop him for a burned license plate and broken tail light, according to police reports.
During the chase, Walker fired at them, police said, prompting additional officers to join the chase.
Walker eventually pulled into a parking lot, got out of the still-moving vehicle wearing a ski mask and ran away. When he stopped and turned around, police said they perceived his movements as a threat, prompting them to fire.
Walker, who was unarmed, was hit by 46 bullets and died at the scene.
In the first few pages, the prosecutor’s summary describes Walker’s behavior in the days leading up to his death, including his despair over the death of his fiancee Jamisha Beasley, which was gleaned from interviews, cell phone records and an investigation of Walker’s online activity.
Beasley, who was killed in a car accident on May 28, is listed on Walker’s phone as “wife,” the report states. The couple had plans to buy a home together that fell through a week before his death.
The summary details his encounter with New Franklin police, who tried to pull him over less than 24 hours before he was killed, for the same equipment violations Akron police found.
Comments made by Walker’s close friend, Dupree Whatley, during a job interview at the Euclid Police Department are included in the opening pages of the summary and detailed in a separate report.
According to the report, Whatley, who spoke at Walker’s funeral, told Euclid police that “Jayland was depressed and believed the incident with the Akron Police Department was possibly a ‘suicide by cop.'”
Whatley later denied making those comments when he spoke with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the report states.
Although some of the information in the many Walker files linked on the AG’s site has some redactions, such as some witness names, phone numbers and personal information, most of the information in the reports and interviews is available for review. A document explaining the revisions is included in the file.
Reports included in Walker’s file provide details on processing the shooting scene and collecting the bullets, which numbered more than 90.
A timeline of events, from Beasley’s death in late May to the night of Walker’s death, is also included in the AG’s files.
After the shooting, a sweep of the neighborhood was conducted to find potential witnesses, which generated a separate 15-page report with images. Investigators also searched surveillance footage and ODOT video that was captured in key areas where reports were generated.
During a nine-month investigation, BCI investigators interviewed all of the Akron officers involved in the shooting, as well as more than 40 officers who were not, including several of the Euclid police officers who spoke with Whatley during his job interview.
Tapes of interviews with Walker’s sister, Jada Walker, and his mother, Pamela Walker, as well as contacts found on his cell phone, are on the AG’s website.
Several search warrants were issued to seize Walker’s banking information and employment with DoorDash and Uber, which have been reported.
A warrant for his Google activity revealed the keywords Walker used in his online searches in the days before his death.
Lab results, Taser reports and a list of evidence are also available for review, as is a lengthy report generated by investigators following their review of the body-worn camera footage of the officers involved in the shooting.
Information left on the tip line and what happened when investigators followed up are included in the files, as well as information left through an anonymous tip.
Investigators have included in Walker’s file many photographs, some with identifiers and diagrams, as well as several large audio files of interviews and nearly 100 video clips.