Akron City Council voting on police oversight board candidate, Thursday

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:37 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The Akron City Council will vote on a candidate to fill the remaining seat for the citizen’s police oversight board.

Councilmembers will meet Thursday at 2pm.

The deadline for the position was Wednesday at noon.

Councilwoman Tara Mosley said the committee received three applicants for the seat. Just one will be presented to the council for approval.

The fatal shooting of Jayland Walker last summer by Akron Police officers sparked the creation of this review board.

“I hope that this gives our community a little more ease at knowing that we are now moving forward with the citizens review board and that we hopefully have somebody in place that will really do the work,” Mosley said.

For this seat, additional consideration will be given to an African American male between ages 18 and 35.

Earlier this year, the council had a candidate, attorney Imokhai Okolo, who fit those criteria.

They voted him down, which sparked outrage among his supporters. The councilmembers who voted him down cited concern over a social media post where Okolo called police officers “pigs.”

Mosley said finding another candidate who that meets those criteria has been challenging for the committee.

“For them to be able to find someone that fit all those boxes that Imokhai checked, even being an attorney, I think it did pose some issues for them,” Mosley said.

Mosley hopes this board will help prevent future issues between police and the community.

“The community wants to know that someone is there when we have issues like Jayland Walker,” Mosley said. “There’s an oversight committee there that can really look at some issues and see what may have happened, what could be done better so we can never have something like Jayland Walker ever happen again.”