Grand Jury Declines To Indict Officers Involved In Fatal Walmart Shooting Of Black Man With Toy Gun
A special grand jury declined to indict two officers in the racially charged case of a fatal police shooting inside a Dayton, Ohio Walmart store.
John Crawford III, 22, of Fairfield was shot and killed by police while holding a toy gun in the store.
[su_center_ad]Wednesday morning after meeting for two days and hearing accounts from 18 witnesses, a decision was made.
According to WLWT, Special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said at least seven of the nine grand jurors had to vote for one of three possible charges for the officers to be indicted; murder, reckless homicide or negligent homicide, but that did not happen.
“All I can say about this case is that it’s a tragedy,” Piepmeier said. “It’s a tragedy for the Crawford family … and it’s also a tragedy for the police officers, who have to live the rest of their lives knowing that, even though they had a justified use of force, they took the life of someone that didn’t need to die.”
Walmart managers were told by an employee that Crawford was walking around with the air rifle, but the employee did not know if the gun was real or not.
Surveillance video from the store was shown to the public for the first time with the footage showing Crawford walking through the sporting goods area while talking on the phone. Crawford is seen picking up the air rifle from a shelf and continues to walk.
While Crawford is walking around the store with the air rifle, it’s sometimes over his shoulder and other times it’s down at his side.
According to a 911 caller, Crawford was waving the gun around and pointing it at customers, although that is not seen in the footage.
While Crawford is still on the phone, he turns toward a shelf, while the air rifle is in his right hand, as the officers come from his left.
Officers fired two shots and Crawford appears to stumble, then falls to the ground as the officers rush toward him.
Piepmeier showed the reporters the air rifle that Crawford carried and noted similarities between the actual rifle it’s modeled on.
“He didn’t commit a crime, he did nothing wrong,” Piepmeier said. “At the same time, the police officers have to be judged on everything they had.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said “After talking with the Attorney General and watching the video myself, I agree with his decision that a review by the U.S. Department of Justice is appropriate. This is a tragedy for the Crawford family and I share the concern of many in the community that this matter must be handled with the utmost seriousness and respect. I’ve consulted with local leaders, including leaders in the African American community, and I applaud the example they have set of calm, restraint and patience.”
Watch surveillance footage of the shooting:
Meanwhile, white men are walking around Kroger stores fully armed with actual long guns strapped on their backs and not one shot is fired at them. Another white man recently walked in front of a high school in Tennessee with a long gun while wearing a bulletproof vest. No shots were fired at the man who was obviously attempting to intimidate those around him. [su_csky_ad]