AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Amanda Bryant admits to being nosy. So when police were in her neighborhood for a disturbance Monday, she looked out her window and says she was surprised by what she saw: two officers were returning to their patrol car carrying a “Justice for Jayland” sign that had been taped to a utility pole across the street.
“I mean, just as fast as it could happen, it happened, he pulled out,” she said. “I don’t know if it was a box cutter or a little pocket blade that you keep on your side, he started slicing it down. So I grabbed my phone and I’m like, wait a minute what is he doing?”
The home video was posted to social media where it has since received hundreds of views.
Walker was shot numerous times while running from police in June after a chase in which police believe a shot was fired at them from his car. The posters were placed around the city of Akron by Terry Riddle, who never knew Walker but was so moved by the incident that he felt he needed to do something.
Riddle died just before Thanksgiving after putting up about 300 signs. His daughter, Autumn, says she has been going around the city picking up the remnants of signs that have been defaced or cut down.
“We thought the signs were being removed by kids in the neighborhood, just little … people who wanted to start drama,” said Autumn Riddle. “To know that he spent his last days coming out and putting up the posters just to have them come out and tear them down for no reason at all is just kind of petty. I think its petty.”
The city of Akron does have an ordinance addressing illegal signs and a Nuisance Compliance Division that takes signs down that are in violation.
Here’s what Akron’s Nuisance Compliance Division says about the ordinance:
The Nuisance Compliance Office investigates complaints and removes illegal signage from the public right-of-way (R/W). Posting of any signs or notices on the tree lawn, “devil strip,” median, expressway fencing, utility poles, traffic poles, traffic control boxes, or any location within a public street is strictly prohibited. This includes real estate signs, open house signs, yard sale signs, auction signs, banners, political signs, or any advertising material.
No person shall place, post or affix any notice, poster, or other paper device IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY OR to any lamp post, public utility pole, or any public structure or tree in the public right-of-way, except as may be authorized or required by law (A.C.O. §95.11).
Violators of this section are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine equivalent to the cost of removal of the items which shall not be less than $500.
But Fox 8 News found the remains of several of Riddle’s signs that had been taken down within a short distance of other signs that remained up.
“You can drive all around Akron, even Brown Street right here and there’s ‘we buy houses,’ ‘we buy cars’ or ‘power washing’ [signs]. So I think it’s funny that only ‘Justice for Jayland signs’ are being taken down ,” said Autumn Riddle who filed a formal complaint with Akron Police on Wednesday.
She has since returned to put up another sign on the same pole.
“It just doesn’t look good maybe for them because of the sign that they removed versus all of the other signs that are everywhere that are not being removed,” said Bryant.
Akron Police tell FOX 8 News that they are aware of the video and the department is investigating the incident.