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Ohio city declares state of emergency after riots over police-involved shooting of black male

Dozens of people were arrested for breaking curfew early Monday morning

Published: July 4, 2022 3:47pm

Updated: July 4, 2022 6:15pm

The mayor of Akron, Ohio, has declared a state of emergency in response to protests that turned violent after police released videos showing the death of Jayland Walker, a black male fatally shot by police officers following a car chase.

The city had already canceled its Fourth of July celebration but still planned to put on a fireworks display until the state of emergency was issued.

"Early yesterday, we had several peaceful protests," Democrat Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "However, as night fell and others began to join, the protests became no longer peaceful. There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron. Small businesses up and down Main St. have had their windows broken. We cannot and will not tolerate violence or the destruction of property."

The curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew under the threat of a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge.

Police said they believed Walker, 25, fired upon them during the car chase last week that began after he refused to pull over for a traffic stop.

Video shows Walker fled the vehicle while wearing a ski mask. He briefly turned back and appeared to reach toward his waistband during the foot chase in which eight officers opened fire, reportedly wounding Walker more than 60 times.

About 50 people have already reportedly been arrested for breaking the curfew, issued just before midnight Sunday.

Officers fired tear gas on the crowd as rioters smashed windows and lit fires.

A reporter at local television station WKYC-TV posted a photo of officers surrounding Horrigan's home as demonstrators marched to his house Monday.

More than 100 armed and unarmed protesters gathered in front of the mayor's home, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

The Akron Municipal Courthouse will be closed on Tuesday, the department announced on Monday. The court did not give a reason for the closure, but arraignments for those in custody will be held remotely while those scheduled for in-person appearances should come to the courthouse on Friday.

The demonstrations were not limited to Akron.

Protesters reportedly shut down downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sunday as Antifa vandalized the area.

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