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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan lifts downtown curfew following weekend unrest

Jayland Walker protest
Jack Helbig
Ideastream Public Media
Storefronts were vandalized, planters overturned and a dumpster set on fire after protests sparked by the police killing of Jayland Walker.

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 6 at 10:19 a.m.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has lifted the curfew on the city’s downtown area, the city announced Wednesday morning.

“The curfew was put in place due to safety concerns for our downtown corridor and our residents," Horrigan said in a news release. "What I want our residents and community to know, is that we aren’t arresting protestors who choose to peacefully protest. Hundreds of citizens have protested in our community for days without incident, and we support their right to do so."

Workers carry boards to cover up windows at the corner of S. Main and Cedar in downtown Akron.
Jack Helbig
Ideastream Public Media
Some buildings in downtown Akron suffered broken windows while others were boarded up as a precaution.

The University of Akron, which falls within the curfew's borders, plans to return to regular operations Wednesday. Buildings will be open and class schedules will return to normal.

Horrigan issued a state of emergency curfew order shortly after midnight Sunday after protests turned violent following the release of body camera video in the police shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Walker. Peaceful demonstrations Sunday afternoon escalated overnight.

According to police, damage in downtown Akron included smashed windows, a dumpster fire and other smaller fires. Police used tear gas during the overnight demonstrations, according to reporters at the scene. A department news release Monday said officers “deployed a chemical irritant to prevent further rioting and property damage.”

Some 50 people were charged with rioting, failure to disperse and misconduct during an emergency, according to the release.

Walker, a Black man, was shot by Akron police following a car chase in the early hours of Monday, June 27. Eight officers shot him after he exited his car. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office found more than 60 gunshot wounds on Walker’s body.

Walker's family has repeatedly called for demonstrations to remain peaceful.

This story has been updated with the announcement that Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan had lifted the city's downtown curfew.

Updated: July 5, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
This story has been updated to include the University of Akron's return to normal operations.
Annie Wu is the deputy editor of digital content for Ideastream Public Media.