“If he did nothing wrong, if he did not commit a crime, then why is he not here with us?” I’m at a loss for words. I’m appalled.”
The above video was released yesterday of the shooting of John Crawford, III, a Dayton, Ohio man who was shopping in a Walmart and carrying a bb-gun he’d picked up in the store and was presumably going to eventually buy. Customers called the police, they arrive, and then shot Crawford dead. The story police gave at the time was that Crawford refused to listen to police commands and that officers feared for their lives and acted in self defense.
Luckily, the above video has audio synced with the video. You can see that Crawford tosses the weapon down as soon as he hears police and he, wisely, attempts to jump behind cover. Too late though because officers had simultaneously commanded him to drop the weapon and opened fire, inflicting wounds which later killed Crawford. The chain of events as depicted in the audio and video would seem to indicate that Crawford was given no time at all to comply, that the police gave commands and fired their weapons simultaneously.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 11, 2014
The officers seem like candidates for at least some sort of corrective action but a special Grand Jury found officers “were justified in their actions.”
Here’s a report of the dispatch audio prior to Crawford being shot which indicates the original 911 caller from Walmart claimed Crawford was waving the BB gun around and pointing it at people.
Here’s video of Crawford walking around Walmart showing no indication of waiving the BB gun around or pointing it at people. Throughout the video he seems to either be carrying it over his shoulder, in one hand, or transitioning between the two positions. It should also be noted that Crawford didn’t remove the BB gun from its original packaging. Someone had already removed it.
In the surveillance video, which is available for viewing on this paper’s website, Crawford is shown walking throughout the store while talking on a cell phone. He can be seen walking into the gun aisle of the Beavercreek store and picking up a pellet gun – which was sitting open on the shelf out of its packaging (investigators are not sure who pulled the gun out of its packaging) – and continuing to walk “aimlessly” through the store.