COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Columbus on Monday for two different causes: Abortion rights and the shooting death of Jayland Walker, who was fatally shot by police officers in Akron last week.
The two groups were separate at first, but merged into one gathering where they marched from the Ohio Statehouse to the intersection of Main Street and South High Street in the evening.
The protestors marched for nearly two hours, with some saying while they did not know Walker, it was a pain that ripped their hearts.
"I'm trying to think from both sides, how were the police feeling, why was that an instinct and I just can't bring myself to find any reason to do that to somebody. I wonder what would have happened if it were a white man," said Sierra Mason, one of the speakers at the protest.
On June 27, police said an officer was attempting to pull Walker over for an unspecified traffic violation. Police said Walker fired gunshots at police cruisers during the pursuit.
When Walker stopped the vehicle, he got out and ran into a nearby parking lot. Video shows the officers firing multiple gunshots at Walker after he stopped and quickly turned towards them.
Walker's family asked that protests remain peaceful. Protesters say they plan to keep going until justice is served.
"It's happening to all our kids, our brothers, our sisters, our uncles, our fathers. It's happening to everybody. We got to take the same stand because if we don't, it's going to keep going," said Christina McDaniel, who was also at the protest.
The group that protested said they plan on having more gatherings in Akron.