Summit County Prosecutor & Akron Mayor Reinforce Collaboration With Federal Prosecutors
AKRON, Ohio (Friday, September 4, 2020) – Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan today announce a continuation of an ongoing collaboration with U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman in intercepting gun violence and illegal gun possession in Akron and Summit County.
Today’s announcement emphasizes the successful long-term relationship between local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Ohio. The effort is to remind the community that if a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm, they will face charges and potentially harsher punishment under federal law.
Over the past few months, Akron and Summit County have seen an increase in deadly gun violence. Akron is on pace to see its deadliest year related to gun violence in a decade. Just last month 8-year-old Mikayla Pickett was shot and killed during a birthday party. That was just two months after 16-year-old Na’kia Crawford was shot and killed in her car. This gun violence needs to stop.
“Gun violence is tearing apart our communities. If you are caught illegally possessing a firearm, we will prosecute to the fullest extent the law allows,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “Having the option of a federal prosecution, with the potential for a longer, federal prison term, sends the message that we will take illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and get them off the streets. I thank U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman and his office for their continued assistance in helping keep our community safe.”
“Akron, like many cities, has seen an uptick in gun-related crimes, and we are committed to using the tools available to get these weapons off our streets,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “This is not a change in the way patrols will be conducted; this is about continuing to prioritize public safety, using a long-standing partnership to intercept gun violence in our neighborhoods, and reminding the community that illegal gun possession is a serious federal offense.”
“It is no secret that violent crime has been on the rise in many cities across the country,” said. U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “In Akron and Summit County, If you possess a firearm and are prohibited under federal law, either because you have a prior felony conviction, a prior misdemeanor conviction, or some other disqualifying condition, know that we are going to stop you and prosecute you in federal court. I would like to thank Prosecutor Walsh and Mayor Horrigan for their continued partnership in helping to reduce violent crime and gun violence.”
Throughout the Labor Day weekend, local law enforcement will be on the streets looking for people who pose a threat to the community by illegally possessing a firearm. The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District will pursue federal charges, where applicable, against individuals who are prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms, or who otherwise use firearms in a violent crime or drug trafficking offense. In addition, the U.S. Attorney announced that law enforcement agents with ATF, DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshals will be out in full force over the holiday weekend.