I first wrote about John Crawford on August 7, after learning of his shooting death in a Walmart store, in Beaver Creek, Ohio. While much of the nation’s attention has been centered around the horrible shooting death of Michael Brown, and the ongoing protests in Ferguson, John Crawford’s death also requires people of conscience everywhere to demand justice on behalf this innocent young man.
John Crawford was maliciously gunned down by police while shopping for an air gun, in the Beaver Creek Walmart store. Police have still not released the surveillance tapes of this shooting to the public. After more than 100 people protested outside of the state attorney general’s office, demanding that police release the footage, Crawford’s attorney and family were finally allowed to view the video, privately.
The video shows that Crawford was not menacing, threatening or harassing anyone at any time while he was in the store. He was doing his shopping and minding his own business.
The footage also shows that John Crawford was not even facing the police when he was shot, ten times, in the back. These officers ruthlessly gunned this man down before ever allowing him a chance to respond. The air gun e was carrying was one that cameras show he picked up inside the store. At the time the police killed him, he was leaning on the gun, with the barrel pointed down, talking on the phone to his family. He never even knew what was coming.
Crawford’s attorney is calling on the state attorney general to turn the case over to the United States Department of Justice. Authorities in the state have released only one sided pieces of evidence, including 911 calls made by two people in the store, Ronald Ritchie and his wife April. But from the moment those calls were released, important questions have been raised about the reliability of the callers. For example, it’s clear that Ronald Ritchie’s statements to the press immediately after the shooting conflict with what he told 911 operators during the calls.
Sam Seder from the Majority Report has a major rant on the shooting of John Crawford that is worth listening to you. Here’s the video with much more on this important story.