Akron business owners rise early to clean up damage from violent protests

Business owners in Akron, Ohio got up early Monday morning to clean up the mess caused by the violent protest the previous night.

Traffic was closed Monday morning on the portion of South Main Street near Exchange Street so business owners could clean up broken glass and other debris, Fox 8 reported.

The damage was done by demonstrators who gathered the day before to protest the police shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Brown, which occurred on June 27. While the protests started peacefully, they turned violent as the sun set.

Police were deployed in riot gear and fired tear gas at protesters after they “began to tear down barriers set up in front of police headquarters”, WKYC reported.

Protesters pelted local businesses with rocks, smashing windows. Someone set an American flag on fire and threw it in a dumpster, Fox 8 reported. WOIO noted that a good Samaritan put out the fire from the dumpster.

Authorities implemented a curfew for downtown overnight, and Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan issued a statement.

“As night has fallen and others have started to join, the protests are no longer peaceful,” Horrigan said. “There was extensive property damage in downtown Akron. Small businesses up and down Main Street had their windows smashed.

The protests were sparked after the Akron Police Department released footage of the death of Brown, a black man from Akron, who was shot dead by police following a police chase around 12:30 p.m. June 27.

At one point in the chase, which lasted several minutes, officers thought they heard a gunshot coming from Brown’s vehicle. When Brown exited the vehicle wearing a ski mask, he took off on foot and a ground chase ensued.

Police attempted to fire a taser at Brown, but were unable to subdue the suspect. As the foot chase continued, the 25-year-old suddenly turned to face the officers, who then discharged their weapons at Brown. The suspect died of his injuries.

While Brown was reportedly unarmed during the chase, police noted that a handgun, loaded magazine and gold wedding ring were “seen in plain sight” from the driver’s seat of the suspect.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that police said “more than 60 wounds were found on Walker’s body, but further investigation is needed to determine exactly how many shots officers fired and how many times Walker was hit.”

The local police union said in a statement to reporters that the officers’ actions would be determined “in accordance with their training and protocols” as officers believed there was an “immediate threat” during the chase, a noted the AP. The investigation is still ongoing.

More protests are planned for Monday, but Walker’s family is asking for peace, Fox 8 reported.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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