Student Group Stages Sit-in At Beavercreek Police Department
UPDATE AND VIDEO: Student protesters left unsatisfied today after a meeting with Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers.
More than 40 demonstrators occupied the entrance of the police station after the meeting, and said they will continue their protest.
“The status quo would see us go home, the status quo would see people go back to their regular lives, the status quo is what led to John Crawford being gunned down,” said James Hayes with the Ohio Student Association.
The group had asked Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers to fire Officer Sean Williams, who shot Crawford inside a Walmart in August. They also demanded consequences for 911 caller Ronald Ritchie and a change to police training. Crawford was carrying a pellet gun sold in the store when he was killed.
Officer Williams and Sgt. Dave Darkow, the other officer involved in the incident, were initially placed on paid administrative leave but are both back at work; Williams has since returned to an office job and is not on patrol. The Beavercreek Police Department says it will wait until a federal investigation of the shooting is complete before it takes any further action.
Original article posted 10/8/14 at 8 a.m.:
About 20 activists have been camped out in the Beavercreek police station lobby since Monday. The Ohio Student Association is demanding the removal of officer Sean Williams, who fatally shot John Crawford III inside a Walmart store in August.
The group is demanding answers from Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers about consequences for Sean Williams, and for Ronald Ritchie, the 911 caller they say lied to police when he said Crawford was waving a gun at people. Finally, they want to know if the police will change their procedures or training in response to the incident. In September, a Greene County special grand jury found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers involved in the shooting, citing among other things the fact that they had been following training procedures when they shot 22-year-old Crawford. He was holding an air-rifle bb gun he had picked up from a store shelf and talking on a cell phone when police responded to the 911 call.
“We’re not gonna go away until we have answers, until someone is held to account for the death of John Crawford," said OSA member James Hayes.
Police have agreed to meet with the group Wednesday. “They’ve all been very cordial, so we take that as a good sign that we may have productive conversations with them," Hayes says. "But we understand that the whole reason that we’re at the table, the whole reason that we’re being given this sort of treatment, is because we’ve shown the willingness and capacity to move people and to tell this story wide and far, so we’re not going to stop doing that.”
The case has attracted national attention, in part because Crawford was black and the officer who shot him is white. The Beavercreek police department declined to comment for this story.
Lewis Wallace contributed reporting.