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U.S. Attorney Presented With Letters, Demands In Crawford Case

Wayne Baker

Protesters from Greene County Black Lives Matter faced bitter temperatures at the federal courthouse in Dayton Friday afternoon to meet with U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart of Ohio's Southern District about the case of John Crawford III. Six members of the group personally delivered a stack of letters to Stewart while others waited outside.

Crawford, who was black, was shot and killed by a Beavercreek police officer, Sean Williams, who is white, inside a Walmart in August. A Greene County grand jury cleared Williams of any wrongdoing in September, at which point Stewart's office announced it would review the case. Since September, Carter's office has been tight-lipped about the results of that review and whether there will be a federal investigation or federal charges.

Crawford's father, John Crawford Jr., addressed his son's supporters in front of the courthouse.

"I just want you all to know that I'm here and I'm watching and I'm seeing all," he said. "Every chance I get, and every breath I have to muster in my body we are going to fight and we are going to prevail too. Power to the people."

The group said that Stewart explained it could take up to three months for a response. Stewart's office said he would have no comment and a press release on the matter would not be issued.

The group of six from the Greene County Black Lives Matter met with Stewart and presented him with the demands listed below. 

"1.) We demand that Officer Sean Williams and Sergeant David Darkow of the Beavercreek Police Department be put on trial.

2.) We demand that the Beavercreek Police Department be investigated for patterns and practices of excessive force, and a pattern of discriminatory practices.

3.) We demand that the 911 caller, Ronald Ritchie, be put on trial for making a false report and "Inciting Violence" as defined by the Ohio Revised Code.

4.) We demand a comprehensive federal review into systematic abuses by police departments, and specific recommendations for police training, increased community involvement and oversight.

5.) We demand a federal review of data collection practices for all police departments in the Southern District of Ohio. This includes a report on the rates of stops, search and seizures, arrests and use of force by race.

6.) We demand a change in trainings including an end to shoot-first, and revamped trainings on mental health and implicit bias, which should developed in a collaborative process with communities.

7.) We demand more transparency through access to the DOJ office, either through a monthly standing meeting with Carter M. Stewart or a monthly community meeting with Carter M. Stewart.

8.) We demand the placement of a community representative(s) on the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC), which is responsible for facilitating law enforcement trainings among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies."

Credit Wayne Baker / WYSO
Several protestors rallied at the federal courthouse in Dayton Friday, to show support for John Crawford, III.

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