An Ohio grand jury convened to review evidence in the Ohio Walmart Shooting of unarmed black man John Crawford III has concluded, and has decided not to issue any indictments against any police officers involved in the shooting.
On August 5, a 911 caller alerted police to a black man walking around the Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart allegedly pointing a gun at customers. Police arrived on the scene and eventually shot and killed John Crawford III of Fairfield. A customer who suffered a heart attack in the ensuing chaos also died. It has since been learned that the weapon Crawford was allegedly carrying was a pellet gun. The footage clearly shows that he did not point it an anyone, and the original 911 caller has changed his story, according to this Inquisitr report.
The grand jury convened on September 22 and, over the course of two days, heard from 18 witnesses, according to WLWT. They also watched the controversial Walmart security camera footage of the shooting — footage that the Ohio Attorney General has consistently refused to release to the public, according to this Inquisitr report.
The grand jury cleared two Beavercreek police officers, Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams, according to WDTN, of any criminal wrongdoing. Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said that even though Crawford did not commit a crime, the police officers were justified in taking his life.
“All I can say about this case is that it’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for the Crawford family… and it’s also a tragedy for the police officers, who have to live the rest of their lives knowing that, even though they had a justified use of force, they took the life of someone that didn’t need to die.”
The City of Beavercreek also issued a statement, agreeing with the grand jury’s findings.
“[Based on] the information the responding officers had and Mr. Crawford’s failure to comply with the responding officers’ orders, the officers did what they were trained to do to protect the public.”
The grand jury’s decision does not spell the end of the investigation into the Ohio Walmart shooting. The case will likely be reviewed by either the FBI or the Department of Justice, or both, to see if Crawford’s civil rights were violated in the shooting.