Video surfaced this week of a man who picked up an air rifle off a shelf at an Ohio Wal-Mart and was shot to death for it by local police.
John Crawford III picked up the air rifle being sold at a Beavercreek, Ohio Wal-Mart and walked around the store with it, prompting a fellow customer to call the police out of fear. A police officer shot Crawford immediately upon arrival, the video shows. (RELATED: Cops Kill Man In Wal-Mart Carrying An Air Rifle That He Might Have Planned To Buy)
A grand jury decided Wednesday not to indict either of the officers involved in the shooting, Sean Williams and Sgt. David Darkow, according to the Dayton Daily News. They considered charges of murder, reckless homicide and negligent homicide.
A statement from police indicated that officers “gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon” and that the officers shot him when he didn’t respond. Both officers are white; Crawford, 22, was black.
Ronald Ritchie, the bystander who called 911, first claimed to the police that Crawford was pointing the gun at people in the store. (RELATED: Main Witness In Fatal Wal-Mart Police Shooting Changes His Story)
“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told 911 dispatchers. He informed the police that Crawford had pointed the gun at two children. But Ritchie took that claim back in an interview with The Guardian earlier this month.
The newly-released video confirms that Crawford did not point the pellet gun at anyone else in the store, including the several children who were seen in the same aisle as Crawford just before he was shot.
Ritchie also told 911 dispatchers that Crawford was “trying to load” the gun. While Crawford was out of the Wal-Mart’s security cameras reach for several moments, there is no video of him attempting to load the air rifle, and it was not loaded when police obtained it after his death.