Tragedy Hits July 4 Celebrations

Celebrations of Independence Day on July 4 stand as annual traditions that Americans look forward to. It’s not uncommon for these celebrations to involve fireworks, barbeques, and public festivals.

On Monday, countless images and videos of firework displays, personal get-togethers, and public events were scattered across social media. Americans also took pictures of themselves wearing red, white, and blue and otherwise expressing patriotism.

However, this year, Akron, Ohio saw a damper put on the beloved July 4th celebrations. This ultimately boiled down to the early Monday police shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Walker.

What Happened in Akron?
Earlier this week, Walker was ultimately killed by Akron police officers after a scuffle during a traffic stop. Eventually, Walker attempted to flee the scene, which naturally led to officers pursuing him.

Allegedly, Walker then shot at police from inside his car before exiting the vehicle. After a foot pursuit came the shooting of the 25-year-old who sustained dozens of bullet wounds before passing. Akron police have since claimed that Walker posed a considerable threat.

In light of all this, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan shut down the city’s Independence Day festival. This came as part of the city’s preparation for expected violent protests.

From this point, Akron put up physical barriers around the local police department to prevent it from being attacked by angry demonstrators.

On Sunday, the Akron mayor joined the police chief in holding a press conference about the shooting and killing of Walker.

The Fallout Akron Authorities Expected
As it turned out, Mayor Horrigan and other city officials were correct in assuming that mass riots and protests would take place.

Over the weekend, Akron rioters began setting fires in the streets, destroying public property, and altogether terrorizing the community.

The mayor of Akron, therefore, declared a state of emergency in addition to implementing a curfew for local residents. Amid the destruction, the mayor’s office released a statement condemning criminal destruction and warning that it won’t be tolerated.

Horrigan then explained that the cancellations of various Independence Day celebrations were designed to promote overall safety in the community.

Businesses in the downtown area of Akron bore the brunt of damages inflicted by rioters as seen in images and footage across social media.