Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett is concerned about mass resignations within his department due to online misinformation stemming from the shooting death of a 25-year-old Black man.
MORE: More Questions Than Answers After Akron Police Release Body Camera Footage Of Officers Killing Jayland Walker
During an interview, Mylett told News 5 that one of his officers is being falsely accused of taking part in the shooting death of Jayland Walker.
According to Mylett, the officer, who has not been named, was only on the scene to write a report of the incident and did not take part in the shooting.
“That was his role, was to write a report,” Mylett told News 5.
Chief Mylett also said a second officer is being falsely accused of punching a protester during a rally against police brutality after Jayland Walker’s death.
“After our press conference where an individual was punched in the face,” he said. “He’s accused of being the one who punched the person in the face. He didn’t, that’s not him.”
Mylett said that misinformation spread on social media is taking a toll on the officers’ personal lives and the department as a whole.
“They are encouraging people to go to these officers’ homes and hurt the officers and their families,” he said. “Both are accused of doing things they didn’t do. This has caused a reaction in their personal lives. And it’s impacting everybody in this police department.”
If the false accusations and doxing of personal information continue, Mylett fears many of his officers will resign.
“If the goal is to have police officers start resigning en masse to where we don’t have a police department anymore,” Mylett told News 5. “The consequence of the mass resignations, which I’m concerned about, is that nobody’s going to be there to respond to 911 calls.”
Akron Police Officers shot at 25-year-old Jayland Walker over 90 times, with at least 60 bullets striking him after allegedly fleeing from an attempted traffic stop. He was unarmed at the time he was killed.
The Akron Beacon Journal described shots hitting Walker in the face, arms, legs, and abdomen. The outlet also shared a note from the medical examiner’s report that Walker was handcuffed after being shot.
None of the officers involved in the shooting have been named publicly, although eight Akron police officers were placed on administrative leave.
Leaking the personal information of police officers is not the answer. But how is ignoring transparency and accountability ok when a community is seeking answers? Too many times we see the same ending to the same story. A Black man gets shot by police, only to have the police end up the victims and no real justice is served.
The people of Akron want justice for Jayland Walker and if the police won’t police themselves then the internet will try to do it for them.
Watch Chief Steve Mylett’s interview here.
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