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One Year After John Crawford's Death, Commemoration But No Conclusion

A photo of John Crawford III posted to his mother, Tressa Sherrod's Facebook page has been reproduced in art honoring him around the country.
Tressa Sherrod via Facebook

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the day 22-year-old John Crawford III was fatally shot by Beavercreek police. Activists and Crawford's family continue to say justice has not been served.

Crawford, a Black man from Fairfield, had stopped off at Walmart for ingredients for a barbeque when a shopper called 911 to say he was waving a gun around. Crawford was talking on his cellphone and holding a BB gun he’d picked up off store shelves.

Two white Beavercreek officers responded to the call and surveillance videos show they shot Crawford within seconds of entering the store. He died later in the hospital. And, in the rush to exit the store, 37-year-old Angela Williams of Fairborn also died due to a heart condition.

In September, a Greene County grand jury brought back no indictment in the case. The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI have been reviewing it since then, but no results have been released. Later last year, the Crawford family filed suit against the Beavercreek police and the Wal-Mart corporation over their son’s death.

A few days after John Crawford died, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, setting off a series of massive protests. A Miami Valley protest movement has since emerged that’s connected with the national group Black Lives Matter. Several local formations continue to push for U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart to punish the officers involved in Crawford’s death. Others have demanded consequences for Ronald Ritchie, the man who called 911 on Crawford, but there's no sign these demands will be taken up by federal law enforcement.

Crawford is survived by two young children and both his parents, who plan to be at an event in downtown Dayton tonight at 7. Organizers with Miami Valley Black Lives Matter are also staging a die-in at the Beavercreek Walmart.


WYSO is airing an hour-long documentary on the John Crawford story called "A Matter Of Seconds" this coming Sunday, August 9, at 4pm. It will also be available at wyso.org.


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