The NAACP is making a direct plea to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Jayland Walker, the Black man who was killed last month by officers in Akron in a hail of police gunfire.
“No one is above the law, including law enforcement. Those responsible for hunting him down and firing 90 bullets at him should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We are urging you and your Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Jayland Walker, and – if what we all saw with our own eyes is true – federally charge the officers responsible for his gruesome assassination,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“If the officers’ conduct did not scream just how inhumane and fatally dangerous they are, the very fact that they handcuffed his corpse speaks volumes. This does not happen to white people in America,” Johnson said. “Just over a week ago, a mass shooter was detained as a ‘person of interest’ before being officially charged 24 hours later. He killed seven people and wounded countless others at a parade, yet officers did their job professionally and arrested him with dignity.”
“It is time to hold law enforcement officials accountable for treating Black Americans by different standards. We pray that your department will launch this critical investigation in the quest for justice in this case,” he added.
The Justice Department has yet to comment on the letter.