Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot by police officers more than 60 times on June 27, 2022 in Akron, Ohio, sparking protests across the country, including the city of Pittsburgh.
On July 8, two local activist groups — the Black Liberation Autonomous Collective and the Black Anarchist Community Council of Pittsburgh — organized a march in Downtown Pittsburgh to demand justice for Walker's death, and others who have died due to police brutality.
The crowd of about 100 people gathered at the City County Building and marched through the streets of Downtown, where the crowd stopped in front of the Allegheny County Jail and the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, with several speakers referencing allegations of poor conditions in the jail and racial discrimination within the municipal court.
The group throughout the march exclaimed the names of several who have died at the hands of police, including Jim Rogers, a 54-year-old Black man who died in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood on Oct. 14, 2021.
Rogers was shocked by a taser eight times by Pittsburgh Police officers, leading to his death less than 24 hours later. Five Pittsburgh Police officers were eventually fired over Rogers' death.
Speakers and the crowd also expressed anger towards local public officials, including Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, chanting, “Ed Gainey enemy of the people” several times throughout the march. The crowd also expressed anger towards Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald for what they say is his lack of action with police brutality.
The march ended back at the City County Building with organizers once again emphasizing that without justice, there would be no peace.