NEW YORK — From JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) President and CEO DeAnna Hoskins: “Ohio is my home state, so it pains me to see video of Akron Police Department (APD) officers shoot more than 60 times and kill Jayland Walker—a 25-year-old Black man who was fleeing police over a traffic violation—at the same time we saw police in Illinois nonviolently arrest Robert Crimo III—a 22-year-old white man fleeing police after shooting and killing seven people and injuring dozens more in a mass shooting he committed in Highland Park, on July 4th, Independence Day.
“I along with so many other Black people are tired of the continued trauma associated with watching video footage of another Black man’s life being taken. Watching Jayland being chased by APD reminded me of scenes from the movie ‘Roots’ when slave patrols would track down slaves trying to escape to freedom. Watching him be gunned down, as if he was property getting away and had no rights—not even the right to live, the presumption of innocence, or a fair trial. We witnessed APD play judge, jury, and executioner.
“The total disregard for Jayland’s life is what we are demanding that this country acknowledge as the continuation of the historical elements of slavery. The treatment Crimo received is the treatment Jayland and other Black people like him deserve and rarely receive. We cannot and we will not look away from the inherent racism in the criminal legal system. We will continue naming it and demanding real justice for all.”