On August 5, 2022, the Legal Defense Fund sent a letter to Akron city officials including the mayor, president of the city council, and police chief urging city officials to listen to community leaders and implement solutions around police accountability. Jayland Walker, an unarmed Black man, was killed by Akron officers on June 27, 2022. Eight officers shot over 100 bullets at him. 

Jayland Walker’s killing is another in a long history of police killings and violence against Black people in Akron and this country. Police and government responses to these killings have been inadequate to resolve the underlying issues and have even exacerbated the problems. Akron city officials must listen to and implement the demands of local community leaders including the establishment of an independent truth and reconciliation commission. Likewise, the recommendations from a Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce fail to address the broader and deeper systemic issues identified by the demands made by local community groups. LDF urges Akron city officials to work in partnership with the community to resolve long-standing systemic issues.

Read the full letter here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.