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HomeIllinois PoliticsDi Leo: The Cookie-Cutter Protest Game is Tried Again, in Akron, Ohio

Di Leo: The Cookie-Cutter Protest Game is Tried Again, in Akron, Ohio



Jayland walker protest

By John F. Di Leo - 

In the middle of the night on June 27, an Akron police car turned on its lights to pull over a car for a moving violation.  Instead of pulling over and cordially handing over both license and registration, hoping to evade a ticket through politeness and charm, as you or I would do, the driver did the opposite:

Instead of pulling over and hoping for the best, this 25-year-old genius named Jayland Walker floored it, leading multiple police cars on a high-speed chase, to the tune of 85mph in a 35mph residential zone, putting other drivers – and any late-night pedestrians too – in severe danger. 

Eventually, Walker fired a handgun at the police pursuing him, ditched his car, leaped out of the car while wearing a ski mask, and ran away.  In hot pursuit of a man who had shot at them already, when the police saw him turn toward them, they assumed what anyone would assume: that he was going to fire at them again.  So the police did what police are supposed to do: they fired, killing him instantly.

Akron has now been beset with growing demonstrations for days, and Democrat politicians all over the country are weighing in.

Why, you ask, Gentle Reader?  It’s an open and shut case, isn’t it? What’s there to protest about?

In the moment, police can only judge a situation by what they see at that moment.  In this case, it was a driver fleeing what should have been a harmless traffic stop, one that no law-abiding citizen has any reason to fear. Instead, he charged through town at 85mph.  

Why flee the police when all you did was blow a red light or make a right turn on red without a full stop, or whatever it was?  Why make it worse?

And then, why shoot a gun at the police?

And why wear a ski mask, throughout?  In January or February, we might understand… but this is June 27.  Even in Akron, that’s about four months late for a ski mask.

The police rightly assumed that he was a clear and present danger to society, and responded exactly as they ought.

But there are two more dynamics:  it’s an election year, and the perp was black.

Now, neither of those issues should matter in the least.   This is a police stop in the middle of the night.  Voting and skin color are irrelevant.  It’s about a crook in a ski mask (neither you or I know what he did, but nobody wears a ski mask in June unless he just committed a serious crime), driving like a bat out of hell, shooting at the police.  

That’s ALL it’s about.

Is it a pity he died?  Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know. 

Maybe he was wearing a ski mask because he just stole a radio out of a car (do they even do that anymore?).  Maybe he was wearing that mask because he just broke into a house or store. Maybe he was wearing that ski mask because he had just cheated a drug dealer. We don’t know.  Perhaps we’ll find out.  Perhaps we never will.

But one thing we do know is that he wasn’t out skiing.

And one more thing we know is that his actions required – not just allowed, but required – the exact police response he received.

We don’t know what kind of future he had before him, this unknowable future that his own suicidal actions cut short.  Local news reports indicate that he was a promising lad in high school, a good wrestler, a nice kid.  But that was five, seven, ten years ago.   Now he was a 25-year-old adult, endangering the community, shooting at the police in the middle of the night.

Some kids don’t change when they grow up; some do.  Sometimes for the better; sometimes for the worse.

But it’s an election year, and the activist left pounced on this story, as the next George Floyd, the next Jacob Blake, the next Breonna Taylor.

In truth, that’s not so far off; the politically incorrect truth about all of these public poster children for violent protest is that they were all criminals who created the circumstances of their deaths themselves. 

Whether police handled the incidents perfectly or not, the fact is, Floyd was dying of a fentanyl overdose as the police held him down with the worst optics of all time… Blake was stealing a car, having just assaulted an ex-girlfriend who called the police on him, preparing to attack the arresting police… and Taylor was an assistant to a drug dealer in the process of resisting arrest.  Just as this particular perp’s choices engineered his own demise, so did theirs.

But the truth doesn’t prevent the activist left from spinning the stories.  In their fevered imagination, the dying Floyd, the violent psycho Blake, the drug moll Taylor, and now Jayland Walker as well, somehow cannot be blamed for the fact that they each made themselves targets in the eyes of law enforcement.

Life is about choices.  When the police say, you’re under arrest, you immediately stop what you’re doing, keep your hands where the police can see them, and do what you’re told.  Everybody knows that.  EVERYBODY.   Fail to do so, and you’re writing your own death warrant.

But all this isn’t the interesting thing about this case. Here’s the interesting thing:

There are arrests now, every day, as the protesters grow in numbers, as their shouts grow in volume, as their story grows in coverage.  The police are the target; how dare they do their job? How dare they try to protect the community? How dare they respond in kind to a guy in a ski mask who shot at them first?

And who’s being arrested?  Not just people from Akron.

There are activists traveling from all over the country to participate in these riots.

Somebody paid for Jacob Blake’s father to come from North Carolina.  Somebody paid for Breonna Taylor’s aunt to come from Kentucky.  Somebody is paying for busloads of protesters to come from near and far, to make sure this demonstration can be all that it can be.

It never ceases to amaze, me how Leftist demonstrations grow so fast when moderates and conservatives can never get enough of a crowd together to attract a news crew (unless of course President Trump holds a rally).

The old joke is that “Republicans can’t go to demonstrations, because we have jobs.”

But that’s not really the answer.  As we learned in 2020, Leftists have jobs too: for a lot of them, demonstrating IS their job.

We have seen protests all over the country in recent years, as the Occupy movement morphed into the Antifa movement, as BLM and other monikers swapped titles and picket signs with the issue of the day… often with the very same faces in city after city.

By late in 2020, we had all discovered copies of the ads on Craiglist, the Facebook meetups, and other social media and underground newspaper publications, advertising food and travel budgets for activists willing to join their “rent-a-riot” projects. Why were the same faces in Seattle, Portland, Kenosha, Chicago, and Washington DC? Because they were paid to be there.

We are seeing the same effort grow in Akron today, but there may be something different this time.

Perhaps the officials will draw a firmer line and refuse to back down from the truth of the situation.

Perhaps the protesters will embarrass themselves enough that even friendly news media will leave the story alone, as they see how unhelpful it is to their own side of the aisle.

And perhaps, just perhaps, the American public is wising up, and an angry electorate is onto them at last.  Perhaps the voters of 2022 will refuse to be played for fools yet again.

We can only hope.

Copyright 2022 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

 A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.

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  1. You left out the part where they shot at him 90 times and hit him with 60 bullet wounds. THEN they handcuffed him. No arrest, no trial.. just an execution implemented by police.
    Meanwhile mass murderer tries to leave police stop and he taken in live ZERO bullet wounds. Then they order the poor little white mass murderer a hamburger.

  2. Same old crap, different criminal, different city.
    The Left will attempt to make a hero out of this jerk, too.
    If the riots start and turn destructive and violent,
    the best solution would be to shoot a bunch of ’em down.
    THAT they will understand.

  3. The 60 shots does sound like a lot, until you remember that there were eight police chasing him. Each one fired, and it was the middle of the night, so they each fired multiple times to be sure they got him.
    Again, it was the punk’s choice to shoot at police and then run away. HE created the necessity of a chase in the middle of the night, HE created a necessity to shoot to kill. The police didn’t have a choice. This is how they have to respond in a situation like this.
    If they let him escape in the middle of the night in a residential neighborhood, they would have had to start locking down every house, searching every house, putting more and more people in jeopardy.
    This thug had already been driving at 85 miles an hour through the town in the middle of the night. He was a severe danger. He had to be stopped.
    My question for you, and for all of his defenders, is, why don’t you have any compassion for the people he endangered? Why don’t you have any concern for the police that he shot at? Why don’t you have any concern for the other drivers and pedestrians on the road when he was barreling along at 85 mph?
    The rest of us might have more respect for your arguments if you gave any indication that you had any respect for everybody else.

  4. The criminal shot at the police. The criminal ran from the police. He criminal turned and the police thought he was going to shot them as he had tried before. The police shot and killed the criminal. The other criminal when he was told get on the ground….he got on the ground. That criminal was taken into custody. Shoot at the police die by the police. Shoot at an armed citizen die by the armed citizen

  5. Please consider riding with your local police ONE night to see what they go through. This isn’t about black or white; this is about a 25-year-old MAN being acting like a fool.
    Proverbs tells us: “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.”