I have talked about this case since it happened on my show, and have cautioned everyone to reserve judgement.
We’ve heard from the family attorney who were given parts of the video to view, and the attorney stated that Crawford wasn’t a threat. That is, of course, their opinion, and we didn’t have any video evidence to verify their stance. Now we do. It appears an innocent man was gunned down in cold blood by police who were misled by a pathological liar.
Ronald Ritchie is the pile of crap that called 911 saying Crawford was aiming the gun at children and other Wal-Mart customers. He then gave statements to local news after the shooting confirming that Crawford was indeed a threat. He later recanted those statements in an interview with The Guardian. In other words, he lied. We also learned that he was lying about his military background. As a result of his lying to 911, police believed they had an active shooter at the Wal-Mart when they only had a man who was innocently shopping.
Crawford isn’t the only one to die that day. The shooting caused another woman to die of a heart attack. On my show (Sept. 9), I called for Ritchie to face two counts of involuntary manslaughter if the evidence held true that he was indeed innocent. We now have proof that he was indeed innocent.
While I believe Ritchie is ultimately responsible for the deaths of two innocent people as a result of his lying to dispatch, the police are not absolved of their responsibility in the death of Crawford. See the video below … Graphic.
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.
More from the family’s statement:
“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.”
They are factually correct. The video shows there was no justification for lethal force. Crawford did not pose a threat, and did not make any movement that can be interpreted as a threat by responding officers. The video also seems to indicate that police lied about Crawford disobeying orders to drop the rifle. Nowhere in the synced audio to you hear police order Crawford to lay the rifle down even once, let alone multiple times as they’ve said. Nor does it seem like Crawford was even aware that police were there. The police also opened fire on Crawford (who was not looking at them, or anyone else) almost immediately upon getting him in their line of sight.
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.
For once I agree with the Justice Department on these issues. This is not justified any way you cut it.
For the record, I do not believe this has anything to do with race. This is about a pathetic oxygen thief piece of scum named Ronald Ritchie who lied to police about an innocent man threatening children and customers with a rifle. That lie set the tone of the police response. Had he not lied, even if he was concerned about Crawford, we may not have two innocent people dead.
In addition to that, police did not respond appropriately … even if they did believe Crawford was an active shooter. No one was in immediate danger when they fired, and they did not demand Crawford disarm multiple times as they stated. There was no attempt to assess. There was no attempt to diffuse. Had Crawford already shot someone when police arrived, shooting first and asking questions later would have been justified. Had Crawford made a movement that could have been misinterpreted as a danger to officers or civilians, shooting him would have been unfortunate but justified. None of that happened. The fact that Crawford had been walking around the store with a rifle (not a real rifle) and hadn’t shot anyone should have been an indication that there may not be an imminent threat. That there could have been a peaceful resolution.
No, this isn’t about race. It is about police covering up crimes against civilians to protect their own, and that is far worse in the long run.