Matters Of Black Lives: Three Protesters Look Back At Christmas Eve Arrests
Black Lives Matter protesters will return to the federal courthouse in downtown Dayton Friday afternoon to demand justice for John Crawford III. Crawford, who was Black, was shot and killed by a white police officer at the Beavercreek Walmart in August 2014. Crawford was talking on his cell phone and holding a BB gun sold in the store when someone called 911 on him; police say they believed he had a real gun, and shot within seconds of entering the store.
After a Greene County Special Grand Jury brought back no indictment in the case, local protests spread. A die-in at Fairfield Commons mall on Christmas Eve ended in 11 arrests.
WYSO Community Voices producer Steve McQueen has been part of some of the demonstrations. He has the story of that Christmas Eve protest from the perspective of three activists: Julius Eason, Nancy Epling and Maiya Celeste Thornton, all residents of Yellow Springs.
Listen to their story:
The three were charged with criminal trespassing and obstruction of justice; they later plead guilty to trespassing in exchange for having the other charged dropped. The Beavercreek police department declined to comment for this story because of pending legal action.
The demonstrations now are focused on a response from the U.S. Department of Justice, which is currently reviewing the case but has not made any statements.