One year later: Community activists push for police accountability following Jason Walker's death

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Monday, January 9, 2023
Community Activists Push for Police Accountability in Fayetteville
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Activist gather to remember a Fayetteville man one year after he was shot and killed by an off duty Cumberland County Sheriff's Lieutenant.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A year later and the community still shouts Jason Walker's name, a 37-year-old Fayetteville man who was shot and killed by off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff Lieutenant Jeffrey Hash on a Fayetteville Street.

The shooting happened after Walker was accused of jumping on Hash's car and beating his windshield with a wiper blade. Hash was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in April of 2022 when the North Carolina District Attorney's Office announced they would not seek charges against him.

The state said it cannot prove the shooting was unlawful beyond a reasonable doubt and said Hash justified self-defense.

On the first anniversary of Walker's death, social justice activists like Angela Tatum Malloy along with people from the community met at the historic Market House where he was remembered but also where there was once again a call for change.

"We know we want changes in the system that denied Jason his justice," Malloy said as she addressed the small crowd of supporters. "The city and the police department, say that we all want the same things. But they're not showing the actions. And right now, we need to see the actions."

Malloy said the action starts with policy changes that address mental health crisis response.

"It's not that we say that we should send our therapists out to a dangerous situation. What we're saying is use all of the tools," she said.

Shaun McMillan joined in the calls for more police accountability. He said Walker was due justice that never came

"There's plenty of frustration," he said. "People cannot believe that there's no justice."

McMillan said activists have been pushing for years about independent oversight practitioners, similar to the community safety department in Greensboro.

"We have so many reasons as far as lives, valuable lives, to continue to fight for systemic change, to continue to fight for independent oversight," he continued.

As there were calls for change, there was also a space to remember Walker, who was a father, son, and friend. His high school classmate described the last year as tough and painful.