Surveillance video at an Ohio Wal-Mart shows the moment police fired upon and killed a man who was carrying an air rifle sold at the store.
CORRECTION: A previous headline stated that officers fired on John Crawford after he set his air rifle on the ground. A newly released surveillance tape with audio shows that officers appear to fire seconds after encountering Crawford but not after the perceived weapon is on the ground.
The recently released video appears to show 22-year-old John Crawford III being fired upon just seconds after police encounter him.
The August 5 incident triggered protests from residents and family members demanding the video be released. Crawford is black, and the two officers involved in the fatal shooting are white. Crawford’s family asked for a federal investigation to see if race was a factor.
Instead, a grand jury determined Wednesday that the two officers involved were justified in their actions.
Police have said multiple times that Crawford refused commands to drop the air rifle, according to the Dayton Daily News. The surveillance video, obtained by the Xenia Daily Gazette, appears to show Crawford shot almost immediately after police encounter him.
Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier told the Associated Press that Crawford picked up the air rifle, which had been taken out of a box and left on a shelf in the store, and walked around while on his cell phone when officers approached and shot him.
The Crawford family said they were “disgusted” by the grand jury decision to not file charges against the two officers involved in the shooting.
“The Walmart surveillance video and eyewitnesses prove that the killing of John H. Crawford, lll was not justified and was not reasonable. It is undisputed that John Crawford, lll was in Walmart as a customer and was not posing a threat to anyone in the store, especially the police officers.”
Hours after the grand jury decision, the Department of Justice released a statement saying they were going to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting, according to WCPO.
Source: Huffington Post