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Akron prepares to release bodycam footage after officers shoot 15-year-old boy

 Akron police cruiser
Andrew Meyer
Ideastream Public Media
The Akron Police Department is required by city law to release the bodycam footage of an officer-involved shooting within 7 days of an incident.

Akron Police are working to release body camera footage after an officer shot and injured a teenager on Monday who was reportedly carrying a fake gun.

In a statement released Tuesday, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik called the incident a “tragic situation” and said the city will release bodycam footage in the next seven days, as is required by city law.

“I’m grateful the young man was not more seriously injured and that the officer was not injured,” Malik said in the release.

It all began with a call Monday night that a Black male was pointing a gun at houses in the city’s Goodyear Heights neighborhood, Akron Police said in a press release.

The responding officer fired a single shot, striking the male – who was later identified as a 15-year-old from Akron, the release states.

The teen was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police recovered a replica gun that he was reportedly carrying, according to the release.

The Akron Police say they recovered this replica gun that a 15-year-old Akron boy was reportedly carrying when he was shot and injured by an officer on Monday, April 1, 2024.
Akron Police
The Akron Police say they recovered this replica gun that a 15-year-old Akron boy was reportedly carrying when he was shot and injured by an officer on Monday, April 1, 2024.

Police turned over the incident to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the officer, a nine-year-veteran of the department, was placed on paid administrative leave, according to the release. After BCI concludes its investigation, the materials will be presented to a Summit County grand jury, Malik added in the city's release.

“These kinds of incidents are some of the most challenging for our community to grapple with, and I would ask that we all reserve judgment until more information is shared,” Malik said in the release.

Akron Police will also conduct an internal investigation to determine if department policies were followed. After that, the investigation will be reviewed by the city’s new police auditor, Anthony Finnell.

The shooting happened one week into Finnell’s tenure as police auditor.

Finnell will review the police department’s findings alongside the city’s Citizens’ Police Oversight Board.

The CPOB was formed in the aftermath of another police shooting in Akron. Citizens voted to create the board just months after eight officers fatally shot 25-year-old Jayland Walker in 2022.

“The Citizens' Police Oversight Board is deeply saddened by the recent shooting incident involving a 15-year-old male," board members said in a statement. "While we are relieved to know that his injuries are not life-threatening, a family from our community and the neighborhood where this happened are dealing with the trauma of having this occur where they live and where children play. An Akron police officer is also left dealing with the traumatic impact of having to use deadly force.”

Updated: April 2, 2024 at 8:00 PM EDT
This story has been updated to add a statement from Akron's Citizens' Police Oversight Board.
Anna Huntsman covers Akron, Canton and surrounding communities for Ideastream Public Media.