No Charges Against Cops Who Killed Man Holding Fake Gun In Ohio Walmart

ohio-wal-mart-shootingTwo Ohio police were justified when they shot and killed a man holding a pellet gun inside a Beavercreek Walmart, a grand jury decided Wednesday in declining to indict the cops.

But the U.S. Justice Department will take a look at the case for possible civil rights violations, the feds announced just hours after the local decision.

John Crawford III, 22, was on his cellphone the evening of Aug. 5 when Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Dean Williams found him down an aisle, holding a Crosman MK-177 BB/pellet rifle in one hand, and opened fire, killing him.

A grand jury, seated Monday, heard from 18 different witnesses, watched and listened to hours of audio and video and found the Beavercreek police officers were not guilty of murder, negligent homicide or reckless homicide, Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said at a news conference following the decision.

A 37-year-old woman, Angela Williams, died after going into cardiac arrest as she ran from the store following the shooting around 8:25 p.m. Aug. 5.

The special prosecutor, appointed to investigate the case by State Attorney General Mike DeWine, called the shooting a tragedy for Crawford’s family and the officers, who will live their lives knowing “they took the life of someone who didn’t need to die.”

Crawford committed no crime the night of his death, Piepmeier said.

Piepmeier showed store surveillance video which captured the moments before, during and after the shooting, all synced up with a 911 call placed by shopper Ronald Ritchie.

Ritchie told dispatchers that Crawford pointed the facsimile weapon at women and children and appeared to be “trying to load” the gun. Earlier this month, he changed his story, telling The Guardian, “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody.”

He was waving it around, Ritchie said.

Video shows Crawford pick up weapon near the gun counter and walk away with it as he speaks on the phone. Other shoppers appear to notice but stay calm.

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John Crawford III, 22, was on his cellphone the evening of Aug. 5 when Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Dean Williams found him down an aisle, holding a Crosman MK-177 BB/pellet rifle in one hand, and opened fire, killing him.

Ritchie stays on the phone and describes to the dispatcher Crawford’s location at the end of an aisle.

Crawford stands in the aisle for several moments, apparently on the phone, when officers turn the corner and appear to yell. Crawford appears surprised by the officers’ presence, turns to them and is shot twice. He drops the gun, stumbles out of sight, before returning to the aisle where officers approach and apprehend the now-unarmed man.

Piepmeier said the pellet gun is normally in a box, but someone removed it from its packaging and placed it back on a shelf.

A store clerk notified a manager that Crawford was carrying the weapon. The clerk was unsure if the gun was real or fake, but was afraid it might cause a panic, Piepmeier said.

Piepmeier says the manager learned of the incident just as officers arrived and opened fire.

Ritchie stays on the phone and describes to the dispatcher Crawford’s location at the end of an aisle.

Crawford stands in the aisle for several moments, apparently on the phone, when officers turn the corner and appear to yell. Crawford appears surprised by the officers’ presence, turns to them and is shot twice. He drops the gun, stumbles out of sight, before returning to the aisle where officers approach and apprehend the now-unarmed man.

Piepmeier said the pellet gun is normally in a box, but someone removed it from its packaging and placed it back on a shelf.

A store clerk notified a manager that Crawford was carrying the weapon. The clerk was unsure if the gun was real or fake, but was afraid it might cause a panic, Piepmeier said.

Piepmeier says the manager learned of the incident just as officers arrived and opened fire.

source

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