Akron, Ohio, canceled its Fourth of July fireworks display and ordered a 9 p.m. curfew in the wake of protests against police and the city's mayor following the June 27 police killing of 25-year-old Jayland Walker.
Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan issued an executive order Sunday calling for a curfew beginning at midnight Monday and continuing after 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. July 5 in the city after about 100 protesters turned violent and vandalized downtown businesses and marched to his home.
Horrigan declared a state of emergency in the city and restricted activity in the downtown area accessed by the general public except for "traveling directly to and from their place of work, seeking medical attention, or fleeing from a dangerous situation."
"Early [Sunday], we had several peaceful protests in the downtown footprint related to the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker," Horrigan wrote in a press release Monday. "These protests did not escalate to violence and destruction. I want to first thank them. As I stated [Sunday], I fully support our residents' right to peacefully assemble. What we have been calling for since the beginning, and what the Walker family and many community leaders and faith leaders have also urged, is peace.
"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. In light of the damage that has occurred and in order to preserve peace in our community, I have declared a state of emergency, implemented a curfew, and canceled the fireworks which were scheduled for [Monday night]."
Damage to the downtown included shattered windows, overturned fixtures and plant stands, fires included one in a dumpster, police told Cleveland's News 5 TV.
"While the majority of protesters were peaceful, during the gathering, a group of violent protesters emerged from among the larger group and caused substantial property damage to several businesses, restaurants, and nearby residential structures," police officials told the outlet.
The protests came after police released body camera footage of Walker's shooting by police June 27.
Walker fled police during a traffic stop before being shot 60 times by as many as eight officers, the videos from several police body cameras show.
Although Walker was wearing a ski mask, and officers believe he previously fired at him from his vehicle, he was unarmed when he was killed trying to flee, police said.
Police did find a gun and spent shell casing in the vehicle, police said.
The officers involved are currently on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, police said.
During the day Monday, protesters marched directly to Horrigan's home, demanding a change in policing the city and chanting "no justice, no peace."
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