Robert Hubbard said, "When I heard it for the first time, I was shocked aEUR" and in shock. It was strange to me that I knew the man I knew from when he was around 8 or 9. It was absurd.
Hubbard, a high school wrestling coach from Akron in Ohio, is still dealing with the death of Jayland Walker, 25, aEUR" shot dead by police dozens upon a traffic stop on June 27, 2017.
A stream of gunshots was seen in police video following a chase that included eight officers. Walker was not armed at the time. This week, protests erupted in Akron as Walker was seen on video. Walker is the latest symbol for outrage at Black deaths at law enforcement.
Hubbard will always remember Walker as one of his sweetest children. As a young wrestler, he was his coach for many years.
"One of those kids, you see, I wish there were 10 of them in my team." Hubbard stated that Hubbard was exactly the kind of child he was.
His father took him to the youth wrestling team that we have. He was a great kid, who I had no problems with. Some kids have pushed me and tested me. Jayland Walker wasn't one of those children.
Hubbard stated that the police video of Walker being shot was too traumatizing for him to view in its entirety. However, he was able to tell that Walker's behaviour in running away from police was not common.
"The Jayland, I know aEUR" is completely out of character. I don't know. I can understand that he was going through some things. He had just lost his fiancA(c), in a horrible car accident.
Steve Mylett, Akron Police Chief, stated that officers attempted to pull Walker over for unspecified equipment and traffic violations. However, he refused to comply and that the sound from the car was heard making it seem like a gunshot. This made the incident from a traffic stop into a "public safety concern." Officers claimed that they were afraid Walker was about to fire a gun as they fired their weapons.
Hubbard has been able to hold Hubbard's family closer in recent months because of the incident. Hubbard talks about his two sons and there is a feeling of fear in the air that one of them could be next.
Hubbard stated that Hubbard's son, who just graduated from Ohio State in Columbus, was at home from school this weekend. "Man, I had no choice but to give him an extra hug. "I'm glad that my son is here. You are my best friend."
Hubbard stated that he hopes that Walker's situation with the police would be similar to Walker's, and that people will help, not harm, those in it.
He said, "My wish is for them to get the help aEUR", not judge and jury." He said, "But, you know what, if he requires to be arrested. It would be my wish aEUR not to be afraid about him to the extent that even after I've fired 60 rounds, he still needs handcuffs."
Jayland Walker was wounded by more than 60 gunshots. After the shooting, officers were recorded providing assistance and one even claimed he felt a pulse. Walker was later declared dead on the spot. According to the family attorney, the shooting continued after Walker fell to his death. Walker was then handcuffed and given medical assistance. All officers involved were placed on paid administrative leaves.
Hubbard stated that he is not an expert in protocol or any other aspect of police procedure. "You know, we've been discussing de-escalation over the years. It was as if there wasn't any de-escalation. They were on a hundred by the time they reached the road, even though that car had stopped. It seems as though you wouldn't treat an animals that way, according to the families. It was heartbreaking.
Hubbard would like to know why officers failed to see someone in crisis, and not a threat.
He said that Jayland may have needed help at the worst. They could have gotten him help if they handled the situation differently. This is someone who has never hurt anyone."
President Joe Biden spoke briefly this week about Walker's shooting, saying that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the local U.S. Attorney's Office were closely following what happened. He said that the FBI was working with local and state partners.
Biden stated that "if the evidence shows potential violations of federal penal statutes, then the Justice Department will take the appropriate action."
Hubbard was asked about his vision of justice in this case and he said that he had not thought of it. Hubbard was still grieving the loss of his friend and lover. He knows one thing.
"What I want is that no one else has to experience the loss of a loved person like Jayland's.