AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Several Akron businesses were damaged Wednesday night.
At about 11 p.m. windows at Wally Waffle, Irie Jamaican Kitchen and Chipotle were damaged with rocks in Highland Square. The businesses were closed at the time and a building manager tells FOX 8 no one entered the buildings.
The damage came just a few hours after a group protesting the Jayland Walker decision were dispersed by police after Akron city officials say bottles were thrown at officers Wednesday evening.
This went down around 8 p.m. as protesters marched down Copley Road on the city’s east side.
The gathering started earlier when the group came together in Hawkins Plaza around 6 p.m. They began marching on city streets shortly thereafter, as seen from SkyFox.
As the night went on, more marchers and some vehicles joined the protest.
The demonstration continued to grow until around 8 p.m., when tensions began to rise and police moved in. This was in the area of Copley Road and East Avenue.
The city says officers reported having bottles thrown at them and began ordering protesters to leave the streets.
About half an hour later, police declared it an unlawful assembly and deployed what appeared to be some type of chemical spray from both handheld canisters and grenades rolling along the road, breaking up the protest.
Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett released the following statement:
“I have received many inquiries asking for information related to the protest on Copley Rd.
last evening and the protest in Highland Square. I’ve heard many concerns from the media,
councilmembers, our residents, and beyond and I understand your concerns. I am waiting
on video footage from a few of our partner law enforcement agencies to help clarify some
confusion. Before I explain what happened, I need to be sure of the timeline of events. If
information is released prematurely and without the facts, that misinformation could cause
irrevocable damage. As soon as I can confidently determine the exact circumstances of how
last evening unfolded, I will make that information available to the public. If we made
mistakes, we would improve upon them, and if the officers’ actions were reasonable, we
would share that information as well.”
Protests have persisted throughout the city after a grand jury decided not to indict the eight Akron police officers involved in the shooting death of Walker.
There were protests that remained peaceful that night, but a handful of arrests were made. Tuesday night was quiet in the city.
It’s unclear if any arrests were made after Wednesday evening’s confrontation.