Rallies Held In Beavercreek Express Different Takes On Police Shooting
Two rallies were held over the weekend outside of the Beavercreek Walmart in conjunction with the death of a man inside the store, and each rally had a distinct message. On August 5, John Crawford III was shot and killed by Beavercreek police after officers responded to a 911 call alleging that Crawford was waving a weapon at people inside of the store. Crawford was later found to be carrying an air rifle of a type that is sold inside the store, and was apparently talking on the phone to his girlfriend during the shooting.
On Saturday, over 200 protestors and a handful of civil rights organizations gathered in the Walmart parking lot to show their support for the Crawford family and to ask Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release the store's surveillance tape of Crawford's shooting.
Bishop Bobby Hilton, president of Al Sharpton's National Action Network's Cincinnati chapter, says the message delivered Saturday is a call for justice and the truth.
"The diversity of this crowd is invaluable. It should speak volumes that it's just not some one little small group," Bishop Hilton said. "This is everybody simply saying, ' we want the truth, we want transparency.' Just tell us the truth, let us know what happened and let us be assured that there will be justice."
Hundreds of people showed up for a rally in support of the Beavercreek Police Department on Sunday at Walmart.
Darrell Allen attended that rally. He served in law enforcement for over 30 years, and he believes Sunday's message asked the community to be more supportive of the police.
"I hope we can learn from it that police officers are human. We have families that we go home to at night and that's our biggest goal," Allen said. "Is that we can protect the citizens of the community while we are on duty and yet we want so much to be able to go home to our families at night and it sometimes hard to be able to separate the two."
Attorney General Mike DeWine has turned the case over to a special prosecutor, and a special grand jury will hear the case on September 22.