The Reverend Al Sharpton addressed an Ohio crowd Thursday evening, demanding that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine release the security footage of the Walmart shooting of John Crawford III.
John Crawford was killed August 5 in a police shooting at a Walmart in Beaver Creek, Ohio. According to this Inquisitr report, a 911 caller claimed that a man was waving a gun around and pointing it at shoppers. Crawford was eventually shot by police, and in the ensuing panic, another shopper died of a heart attack. It has since been learned that the gun in question was a toy, and that Crawford's back was turned to police when he was shot.
Speaking to a crowd at Ohio's Central State University, Al Sharpton called on authorities to release the footage of the Ohio Walmart shooting. According to The Dayton Daily News, Sharpton claimed that authorities have "poisoned" the minds of potential jurors by claiming that Crawford was waving the gun around.
"So the fair thing to do is put the tape out so when the grand jury meets, they walk in knowing at least what was and what wasn't on the tape. I come to Central State tonight to say to the attorney general, let's go to the tape."
According to WKEF, Sharpton's words brought a standing ovation from the crowd.
"We are not coming to a conclusion but [Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine] is by withholding evidence. Do you not think the public can handle the truth? It undermines what's going forth with the grand jury."
For his part, the Ohio Attorney General has resisted calls to release the footage of the Ohio Walmart shooting.
"I think that it is playing with dynamite, frankly, to release that tape at this point. And I think the dynamite simply is that it blows up and you can't get a fair trial. That's what we worry about."
CNN writer Van Jones takes the issue one step further. Rather than echoing Rev. Sharpton's calls for the Ohio authorities to release the video, he calls on Walmart to release it.
"The only way to overcome [racism] is to face its existence openly and honestly. That starts with being unafraid to discover what happened to John Crawford. And step one in that mission is for Walmart to bow to the request of the Crawford family, and the thousands who have signed a Color of Change petition, and release the surveillance tape."
A special grand jury will convene next week to review the facts of the Ohio Walmart shooting, which includes reviewing the security footage Al Sharpton has demanded to see.
[Image courtesy of: CBS Atlanta]