Jayland Walker’s death has traumatized Black people in Akron, Ohio. Community leaders are finding ways to help.


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By Claretta Bellamy, NBC News

Members of the Black community are stepping up to provide emotional support after the fatal shooting death of Walker by police.

People hugging outside the Akron Civic Center after a viewing for Jayland Walker on July 13. (Gene J. Puskar / AP file)

Black leaders in Akron, Ohio, are focusing on ways to help their community heal following the death of Jayland Walker, 25, an unarmed Black man shot 46 times by police last month.

While his death came as a shock to residents, those who lived in the community for decades say that the racial violence in Akron is all too familiar. The violence, paired with the community’s heightened fear of police after Walker’s brutal death, has led advocates to create health and wellness activities to help those suffering from racial trauma — which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, experts say.   

Among those coping and finding ways to address the trauma of Walker’s death is Brian Turner, the former dean of Buchtel Community Learning Center, the high school Walker attended. Turner, whose role often involved disciplining students, said Walker was a good student who never got in trouble. 

“I just know that he was a very respectful, mannerable young man when he was in the building with his friends,” he said. 

After learning of Walker’s fatal shooting, Turner, 59, said he looked for solace. He joined more than 300 attendees who marched in downtown Akron during a peaceful protest organized by the NAACP. While he was unable to attend Walker’s funeral, he said, individuals in the community are expressing “a number of different things,” including anger and hurt.

Head to the source for the full story.

Unfortunately, police violence against Black Americans is not uncommon, and a recent change in Arizona law could make it even more difficult to get justice.

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