(Photo: Dayton Daily News)
Update: Aug. 28, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
According to the attorney for John Crawford’s family, surveillance video from an Ohio Walmart where the 22-year-old died Aug. 5 shows that he was fatally shot in his back by police while talking on a cell phone. If so, then the footage undermines statements made by police and witnesses that Crawford disregarded instructions to drop the gun he was holding and “looked like he was going to go violently.”
“John was doing nothing wrong in Walmart, nothing more, nothing less than shopping,” Attorney Michael Wright reportedly said in a statement. The Huffington Post reports that Wright claimed the father of two was shot “on sight” in a “militaristic” response by police.
Beavercreek Police Sgt. David Darkow, one of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting, has returned to work while the other officer, Sean Williams, is still on administrative leave.
It has not been confirmed whether Williams fired the shot that killed Crawford.
The family of an Ohio man shot and killed by police at a Beavercreek Walmart have called on civil rights organizations because they believe the shooting was not justified, Dayton Daily News reported.
On Tuesday night, 22-year-old John Crawford was allegedly speaking on his cell phone to the mother of his two children, LeeCee Johnson, when he was shot down by officers.
“We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” Johnson told Dayton Daily News, adding: “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine has since confirmed that Crawford was holding an MK-177 BB/Pellet rifle, also known as a “variable pump air rifle.”
WHIO Cincinnati reported that April and Ronald Ritchie were in the hardware department that Tuesday evening when they say Crawford with what they believed to be a real gun and called 911.
"He just kept messing with it and I heard a clicking," April Ritchie said.
Ronald Ritchie said Crawford "was just waving [the gun] at children and people...I couldn't hear anything that he was saying. I'm thinking that he is either going to rob the place or he's there to shoot somebody.
The Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been asked to investigate the incident.
Johnson criticized the police for not doing their job properly and wants to see justice done. “I hope the police get fired and sent to jail, because [the officer who fired] didn’t do his job. He didn’t treat him like a human being. He didn’t treat him like someone at Walmart looking at toy guns,” she said.
Crawford’s family has reached out to the NAACP and National Action Network for help.
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