The next time someone tells you we don’t have a race problem in America, simply point them to the case of two yet-unnamed white men who walked into a Post Falls, Idaho Walmart, removed a BB gun from a box, loaded it, and opened fire inside the store.
A report from the Post Falls Police Department notes that Walmart security reported two suspicious males in the store.
“It was further advised the males were taking BB guns out of the boxes,” the report read. “The next bit of information was really disturbing. The reporting party said the males started shooting the gun in the store and made comments that they were going to shoot the store up.”
The men had left the store by the time officers arrived, but police quickly located them in a field south of the store. The two suspects were taken into custody and questioned at Walmart before they were booked on charges of aggravated assault, discharging a firearm in city limits, and malicious injury to property.
Recently, in Beavercreek, Ohio, John Crawford III also was holding a BB gun inside a Walmart store. Unlike these men, Crawford did not take it out of the packaging, nor did he load it, nor did Crawford break the law in any way.
Unlike these men, Crawford was shot by police virtually on sight simply because a white man with a verified history of dishonesty falsely claimed Crawford was waving the weapon around and acting in a threatening manner.
Ronald Ritchie claimed that Crawford “was just waving [the gun] at children and people…I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying. I’m thinking that he is either going to rob the place or he’s there to shoot somebody,”a story he later changed once he learned that video cameras exist. “He didn’t really want to be looked at and when people did look at him, he was pointing the gun at them. He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”
One can’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different, had these men been black. Of the three men who recently dealt with police after picking up a BB gun in a Walmart, the only one who is dead is the one who intended to buy it — yet the two who are alive actually fired inside the store and made further threats.
Like in the cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the grand jury failed to indict John Crawford’s murderers — yet these two Caucasians are alive and well, albeit slightly unhappy with their circumstances.