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A Matter Of Seconds: A Look Back At The Year Since John Crawford III Was Killed

One year after John Crawford III was killed, demonstrators were locked out of the Beavercreek Walmart.
Lewis Wallace
One year after John Crawford III was killed, demonstrators were locked out of the Beavercreek Walmart.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 marked one full year since 22-year-old John Crawford III was shot and killed by Beavercreek police inside a Walmart. 

Crawford, who was black, was talking on his cell phone when he picked up a fake gun sold in the store. As he wandered the aisles, a white man named Ronald Ritchie called 911. Within minutes, two white officers arrived. Beavercreek Officer Sean Williams took two shots at Crawford in a matter of seconds after seeing him.

Several days later, a young, unarmed black man named Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri—and the nation exploded.

Our hour-long documentary looks at the last year in Yellow Springs, Beavercreek and Dayton, Ohio, where hundreds of people joined protests demanding justice for John Crawford. 

Part one is a review of what happened over the last year, including a detailed look at the incidents in the Walmart; part two is a wider look at the Black Lives Matter movement with stories and viewpoints from Julius Eason, Maiya Celeste Thornton-Hodge, Nancy Epling, Danni West of the TGI Justice Project, Elle Hearns of Get Equal, Professor Kevin McGruder of Antioch College and Pastor K. Edwin Bryan of Mt. Pisgah Church in Dayton. Part three is a discussion of solutions and reforms, featuring Over the Blue Wall, Lori Shaw of the University of Dayton, Yellow Springs Police Chief Dave Hale and resident Stephen Hunt, Cleveland State University Professor Ronnie Dunn, Reverend Linda Stampley, and representatives of Miami Valley Black Lives Matter, the Ohio Student Association and Stop Mass Incarceration Dayton.

See our previous coverage of the story here.

WYSO has been following Miami Valley Black Lives Matter and recording events, speeches and performances. We excerpt a bit more of what we recorded here: 

Bomani Moyenda performs a poem at a Black Lives Matter poetry slam in summer 2015.
Furaha Henry-Jones, G. Scott Jones and their daughter perform a poem and song written after the Eric Garner verdict in December, 2014. Recorded by Michael Casselli on the campus of Antioch College.

A Matter Of Seconds was produced by Lewis Wallace, Steve McQueen, Jerry Kenney, Ariel Van Cleave, Wayne Baker, Neenah Ellis, Juliet Fromholt and Basim Blunt, and mixed by Lewis Wallace. Special thanks to Furaha Henry-Jones and G. Scott Jones for the music.

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