Officer Who Fatally Shot John Crawford III Will Not Face Federal Charges
The Department of Justice claims the evidence is "insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt" that federal civil rights laws were violated.
John Crawford III, 22, was murdered in an Ohio Walmart last year at the hand of Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams. On Tuesday (July 11), federal investigators covering the case announced that they would not seek federal charges against the assailant officers, The Root reports.
The Beavercreek policemen arrived on the scene following a falsely-reported 911 dispatch call alerting the police of a man loading a rifle and pointing it at children in the discount store. In fact, Crawford had unboxed the pellet gun in the toy section.
The store’s footage shows no evidence of the young civilian pointing the toy at anyone, rather he perused the aisles with the fake gun in hand. The officers shot him within minutes of their arrival.
Investigators on Crawford’s case claim the events that transpired August 5, 2014, “revealed that the evidence is insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Officer Williams violated federal civil rights laws.”
Following the decision of the Justice Department, Beavercreek’s Law Director, Stephen McHugh, issued the following statement:
"The events of Aug. 5, 2014, were tragic, and the Beavercreek Police Department wishes the outcome of that evening had been different. The Beavercreek Police Department has maintained the officers committed no criminal violations and followed accepted law-enforcement protocol in their response to the report of an active threat in the Walmart store. The Beavercreek Police Department has fully cooperated with all investigations of this event and will continue to maintain the highest organizational values and constantly seek to uphold the trust of all citizens." - Director Stephen McHugh
While the family of John Crawford III is rightfully “disappointed” with the DOJ’s final consensus, an attorney, Michael Wright, representing the kin of the late Crawford admits that they will “continue to pursue justice through the civil case.”
“We believe there was ample evidence that charges should have been filed or pursued against the officers,” Wright stated.
The trial date for the civil case is penned for February 2018.