April 24, 2023

Rep. Sykes Urges the Department of Justice to Investigate the Patterns and Practices of the Akron Police Department Following the Death of Jayland Walker

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to initiate an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Akron Police Department (APD) following the death of Jayland Walker, a young Black man fatally shot by eight APD officers on June 27, 2022.

“I write today, on behalf of the people of Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, urging the United States Department of Justice to investigate the death of Mr. Jayland Walker, a young Black man killed by eight officers employed by the Akron Police Department on June 27, 2022. I request the Department of Justice (DOJ) use its authority pursuant to 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (formerly codified at 42 U.S.C. § 14141) to initiate an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Akron Police Department (APD) in order to enhance public safety and the community’s trust in our sworn officers,” wrote Rep. Sykes.

“The call for this investigation is in no way an attempt at retribution, but rather, an opportunity to implement more community focused policing that serves the needs of every segment of this community. I am confident you share our ultimate objective of ensuring the citizens of our nation have confidence in their law enforcement agencies, and that you will facilitate solutions-based tools and practices necessary to keep law enforcement safe and accountable, and protect our communities so that we never have to be in this situation again.

“Ultimately, my prayer is both the members of this community and the officers who serve them make it home safely to their families and loved ones at the end of the day. In order to do so, there must be significant efforts to build trust and meaningful relationships. The gravity of recent events has shown it is past time for an independent third party to facilitate discussion to help mediate disputes and place the community on a path to reconciliation and healing — a path that has been charted by the DOJ in numerous communities across the country.”