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Crawford Family Reacts To Grand Jury Decision Not To Indict

John Crawford Jr. and family attorneys at a 2014 press conference.
Jerry Kenney

The family of a man killed by police inside a Beavercreek Walmart are reacting to the news that a grand jury chose not to indict two police officers in the August 5 shooting. Following the announcement Wednesday from a special prosecutor, the federal Department of Justice announced it will conduct its own investigation into the death of John Crawford III.

At a press conference Thursday morning, the deceased man's father, John Crawford II, told reporters his son was "like any 22-year-old, still trying to figure out his next step." He also described him as a family man who left behind two children, and says justice will be served only when the officers who shot him are convicted. He also reacted to viewing surveillance video from the Walmart that night.

“My son was murdered,” Crawford said.  “After I saw the video, there’s every indication of that. It is what it is.  In the situation, and the circumstances surrounding the situation, he had no chance, no chance.”

Despite the grand jury's decision to not indict the officers, the special prosecutor who presented evidence in the case says 22-year-old John Crawford III did nothing wrong. 

“If he did nothing wrong,” Crawford asked, “If he committed no crime, why is he not here with us?”

Crawford family attorney Michael Wright says they’ll wait to hear from federal investigators before considering any civil lawsuits.

“I mean there is still lots of information that we don’t have. We don’t have the investigatory file from the Bureau—from BCI, so we’re still gathering information,” he said.

Wright reiterated they’ll continue to seek justice for not only John Crawford but Angela Williams, who died of a heart condition after hearing the shots inside the Walmart. Crawford was fatally shot by police after a 9-1-1 caller reported a man with a rifle threatening other customers. Store video shows Crawford aiming a bb-gun at the ground while talking on a cell phone, as police moved in.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.