More News about the Police Shooting in Walmart

Two news stories appeared almost simultaneously about the police shooting in Beavercreek, Ohio. You may remember that this involved a gentleman who was shot to death for “waving” a firearm. Once the man was killed by police, they discovered that he had an air gun that was being sold on the shelves of Walmart. The family is insisting that he was never pointing the gun at anyone. The key witness who called 911 in the first place has agreed, changing his story.

john crawford

The first story is from NPR: “Grand Jury Won’t Indict Officers In Ohio Wal-Mart Shooting.” Here is an excerpt:

According to police, John Crawford III, 22, didn’t obey orders to put down what turned out to be an air rifle BB-gun.

As member station WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reported earlier this month:

“While inside the store, and on the phone with the mother of his two young children, Crawford stopped in a toy aisle and picked up a Crosman MK-177 air rifle BB gun — an item Wal-Mart sells.

“Crawford held the BB gun while walking and talking on the phone. He was unaware that another customer inside the store had called 911.

“The first two officers on the scene say they gave Crawford two chances to drop the gun and then fired their weapons when he did not comply. Crawford was hit in the torso and died of his injuries a short time later.”

Member station WVXU in Cincinnati says of Wednesday’s ruling:

“Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier says the Greene County grand jury opted not to issue any indictments in the case. Assistant prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid says the grand jury had access to photographic and video evidence and heard from 18 witnesses.

“‘I definitely think a thorough investigation was done,’ DeGraffenreid said following a press conference Wednesday.”

The second story is from the Reason.com blog: “Video Proves Cops Shot Guy in Walmart Immediately, For No Reason.”

Video footage has been released in the shooting death of John Crawford, the man who was gunned down in a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart by cops who apparently thought he was armed and dangerous. In reality, Crawford had picked up a pellet rifle from the hardware section of the store and was carrying it around while he talked on the phone.

The police maintained that Crawford had refused orders to drop the weapon; the video footage proves definitively that that was not the case—the cops shot the man almost immediately after encountering him. Claims in some media outlets that Crawford had been walking around the store and pointing the gun at people also seem false, unless those occurrences happened during the few seconds that Crawford was out of range of the surveillance camera.

Nevertheless, a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved, according to The Huffington Post. The U.S. Department of Justice will look into the matter, however.

Here is the video:

What do you think?