Friday, 14 June 2024 20:20

Akron Mayor Cancels All Big Public Events in Akron This Weekend

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After receiving a letter from eight City Council members, stating that having any big public events in Akron this weekend would be "irresponsible", so soon after the mass shooting in Akron on June 2; Akron Mayor Shammas Malik ordered all big events shut down this weekend.

The letter noted that violence broke out today at the funeral of the 27 year old man who died in the mass shooting on June 2, which also injured 28 othe people. (See below for ful text of letter).

As a result, all Juneteenth events, the West Akron Parade, The American Heart Association's annual Heart Walk, and more, will be cancelled this weekend. 

The first event that was shut down, was the concert that was supposed to take place at Lock 3 tonight; the Draw The Line Aerosmith concert featuring Floco Torres and Free Black.

The order applies only to events on public property, though, so anyone having a private party, while encouraged to be safe; is not banned from having one.

Malik says is responding to concerns raised by City Council, and that there has been "no credible threat". But, he says; because he got this letter; he could not ignore their wishes.

Here is the letter from City Council members:

Dear Mr. Mayor:
We are writing to express grave concerns regarding the Juneteeth celebrations that are scheduled to take place during this weekend on city property.
As you know, the tragedy that occurred on June 2nd in the neighborhood of Kelly Ave. and 8th Ave. has had a profound impact on the victims, community, city, and nation. In your own words, “the pain and trauma reverberate across all of Akron today as we search for answers”. We believe to allow city-sanctioned gatherings so soon after this tragedy is irresponsible.

Just today, violence broke out at the funeral of the young man killed in the horrific June 2nd mass shooting.

We strongly urge that the events be cancelled for the following reasons:
• Tensions are still high. People are heartbroken and grieving throughout the city and seemingly
lacking in skills to calmly resolve issues without using violence.
• The shooter(s) are still at-large and freely roaming our city.
• Large gathering and parades set the stage for a copycat or retaliatory shooting and gives an already traumatized community a false sense of safety in the absence of the culprits being caught.
We do not need a repeat occurrence. We respectfully request that you cancel these events in the interest of
public safety!

The letter is signed by City Council President, Margo Sommerville (Ward 3), as well as Council members Johnnie Hannah (Ward 5), Jeff Fusco (At Large), Brad McKitrick (Ward 6), Sharon Connor (Ward 10), Sam DeShazior (Ward 1), Phil Lombardo (Ward 2), and Jan Davis, (Ward 4).

Here is a list of the events that have been cancelled:

Friday, June 14

  • Rock the Lock at Lock 3 Park
  • Concert and Water Tower Market at Triangle Park

Saturday, June 15

  • Blue Heron Festival at the Mustill Store
  • Akron Juneteeth Festival at Stoner/Hawkins Park
  • Ward 5 5th Annual Juneteenth Festival at Joy Park Community Center
  • Nu You Event at Hardesty Park
  • North Hill 5K
  • American Heart Association Heart Walk

Sunday, June 16

  • West Akron Parade and Juneteenth Father’s Day Celebration at Buchtel CLC and Kerr Park
  • Church in the Park at Devenport Park
  • Wellness on the Plaza on Cascade Plaza

As to all the vendors who were planning to serve food and sell goods at these big events this weekend; Malik says he'll do everything in his power to ensure they are "made whole". 

There will, however, still be a Juneteenth Celebration in Akron, on Wednesday, at the John S. Knight Center. The details of exactly when it will be and what it will include though, are still in the process of being worked out.

In a Press Release, the Mayor issued the following statement:

"It is important that our community safely gather and mark important occasions. As such, the City of Akron will be sponsoring an official celebration for Juneteenth at the John S. Knight Center this Wednesday, June 19th. We are asking all organizers or vendors who were part of the community events this weekend to be a part of this event. More details to follow.

“This weekend’s events - Juneteenth celebrations in particular - were an opportunity for our community to come together and congregate in Akron with family and friends,” says Mayor Shammas Malik. “Public safety has been a priority of our administration from day one, and we actively worked with the Akron Police Department, Akron Fire Department, and the organizers of the Juneteenth events to provide safety personnel. We look forward to hosting the community at the John S. Knight Center on Wednesday. We recognize that many will be impacted by the cancellation of this weekend’s events, and we encourage everyone to participate in Wednesday’s event."

For more information, watch the press conference: 

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