By Elaine Magliaro
Previously, I wrote a post titled The Killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and John Crawford III: It’s Not about Race…It’s Never about Race!. John Crawford III, an African American, was shot and killed by a white police officer inside a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, on August 5, 2014, “after a caller phoned police to accuse him of brandishing a gun and pointing it at other customers.” At one point during his conversation with the police dispatcher, the caller even claimed that Crawford had “just pointed it at like two children.” Crawford was actually holding a BB gun that he had taken off a shelf in the store. Democracy Now! has reported that newly released surveillance footage “shows major discrepancies between a 911 caller’s account, and what really happened.” Crawford didn’t appear to point the BB gun at anyone in the surveillance footage that was released.
Wal-Mart Surveillance Video of John Crawford III Shooting
A grand jury in Ohio has declined to indict the police officer who fatally shot the 22-year-old Crawford. Crawford’s father said yesterday that he believes that his son was murdered. During a news conference, John Crawford Jr. said that “he was appalled the officers weren’t indicted.” He added, “The officer went in and virtually shot him on sight. He did not have a chance.” Crawford said he welcomed an announced U.S. Justice Department probe into his son’s death.
According to Huffington Post, Stacey DeGraffenreid, who assisted special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said that “Crawford was shot twice by one officer, once in the elbow and once in the side under the rib area slightly from the front to the back…” HuffPo also reported that Crawford’s father and attorneys for the family said that the “surveillance video shows the shooting was unreasonable”—and that they “contend Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Piepmeier were biased and set out to defend the police.”
Yesterday, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) talked with Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, a national organization that campaigned for Wal-Mart to release the surveillance tapes, and James Hayes, founding member of the Ohio Student Association, which has been organizing protests over the shooting.
Watch the following Democracy Now! program.
No Charges in Ohio Police Killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart Tape Contradicts 911 Caller’s Account
Do you think the officer was justified in shooting John Crawford III? Do you think officer should have been indicted?
New Video Shows John Crawford Fatally Shot By Police In Walmart (Huffington Post)
Father Of John Crawford III: Police Murdered My Son At Ohio Wal-Mart (Huffington Post)