Akron cops remove name tags after receiving threats over fatal OIS
Chief Steve Mylett says someone put out a bounty on his officers’ heads
By Suzie Ziegler
AKRON, Ohio — Akron police officers are no longer wearing name tags because officers have received multiple threats related to a fatal police shooting, according to WKYC. Akron has weathered several protests since Jayland Walker, 25, was shot and killed after a traffic stop and foot pursuit in June.
Police Chief Steve Mylett says he instructed officers to remove their name tags after the department began receiving threats on social media. In one case, bounties were placed on officers’ heads, Mylett told WKYC.
"People were getting their names off of their uniforms, getting on social media and elsewhere and going into our Facebook page here in the police department to identify, get a picture, send that picture and that image out into the public,” Mylett told WKYC. “In some instances, they got family photographs and put it out on social media.”
Officers are still wearing their badges and will provide their employee number if a citizen asks for identifying information, Mylett said.
Walker was killed after he fled a traffic stop on June 27. Police had initially pulled over Walker’s car for a traffic and equipment violation, but Walker got out and ran. Police said Walker fired a gun out of the window of a car.
Bodycam video released on July 3 showed multiple officers running after Walker. Officers used their TASERs before firing their guns. Investigators later determined that Walker was unarmed when he was shot and he suffered 60 bullet wounds, according to WKYC.
The officers said they fired their guns because Walker made a motion that made them fear for the lives, the report said. Mylett says the video shows Walker reaching for his waist area and making a forward motion with his arm that caused officers to believe Walker was getting into a “firing” position.
Demonstrations broke out in the days after the shooting, resulting in multiple arrests, according to WKYC. Mayor Dan Horrigan implemented a curfew that remained in effect this week, the report said.
The eight involved officers are now on administrative leave, reported WKYC. The shooting remains under investigation.