The tragic death of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, a Black man who was shot over 40 times by police in Akron, Ohio, has once again highlighted the devastating consequences of violent protests and the reckless behavior endorsed by some liberal politicians. Walker was killed after refusing to stop for the police, initiating a dangerous car chase, and allegedly firing at officers from his vehicle. His death has led to violent protests throughout the city, with bounties even being placed on the heads of the involved police officers.
As Akron awaits a grand jury decision on the fate of the eight officers, local businesses have taken precautions by boarding up their windows, fearing a repeat of destructive rioting that has previously plagued the city. Law enforcement has also established a “demonstration zone” outside the courthouse to “allow for residents to safely demonstrate, protest, and exercise their first amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly.”
Stephanie Marsh, an Akron spokesperson, discussed the city’s preparations for the grand jury results:
“The city of Akron has been preparing for the grand jury results since last summer. The most important part of our preparation has been building relationships with our community and establishing better lines of communication.”
Businesses in Akron, Ohio are boarding up in anticipation of a grand jury ruling on the role 8 cops may have played in the shooting death of Jayland Walker pic.twitter.com/PSgN9pzule
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) April 11, 2023
However, Bobby DiCello, the attorney representing Walker’s family, criticized officials for their concerns about destructive protests following the jury ruling, claiming that the city of Akron “doesn’t trust a significant portion of its citizens.” DiCello further stated, “Today, the family of Jayland Walker urges you to be mindful of how important it is that in America, everyone has equal access to justice and a fair process. They are not advocating for anything more than that.”
Despite DiCello’s criticism, Akron’s history provides ample reason for residents to be cautious. In 2020, the city experienced violent riots following the death of George Floyd, which resulted in significant property damage, looting, and vandalism. Police had to use tear gas to disperse the unruly crowds. Similarly, after Walker’s death in 2022, rioters once again wreaked havoc on Akron’s downtown area, breaking 101 windows and doors.
Local businesses have borne the brunt of these destructive protests, as illustrated by Chris Sedlock, a business owner who spoke with the Akron Beacon Journal. His business suffered damage during last year’s protests, incurring costs for both him and taxpayers. Sedlock expressed concern for fellow business owners who may face another devastating blow to their livelihoods.
Sedlock revealed the significant financial impact the riots have had on his business, saying:
“In the course of the past three years, I’ve invested almost $1 million in the first floor here, so obviously, I’ve invested a lot of money in the city that I’m still waiting to get paid back.” He added, “The long-term effects of these rioters, it’s pretty damaging to a local business owner. Last year, after the riots were done, the windows were boarded for three months, but I don’t feel like the people [felt like it was safe again] until just recently.”
Windows boarded at Akron City Hall ahead of the grand jury decision in the Jayland Walker case pic.twitter.com/vCo7rRfKkz
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) April 11, 2023
The situation in Akron underscores the need for a strong conservative stance against violent protests and the promotion of law and order. The destructive behavior seen in previous riots not only undermines the democratic principles of peaceful protest but also causes significant harm to communities and local businesses. The liberal politicians’ apparent reluctance to condemn such violence only serves to exacerbate the problem, jeopardizing the safety and well-being of countless innocent citizens.
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