The Black Man Shot by White Cops No One is Talking About

The Black Man Shot by White Cops No One is Talking About September 18, 2014

crawfordMost, if not all, of us know about Michael Brown and Ferguson Missouri at this point. But not many people are talking about John Crawford of Beaver Creek, Ohio, who was recently gunned down in a local Wal Mart while talking to his wife on the phone.

And lest anyone try to paint what happened to Brown and Trayvon Martin as isolated incidents, and not reflective of a larger pattern, we need to talk about it.

Crawford, age 22, was shot to death in the middle of the store by two white officers. Initial reports depicted Crawford as a menacing figure, who was waving a gun at other customers, and who ignored multiple orders from police to drop the weapon. Since then, eyewitness reports and security tape collected from the store’s camera’s tells a different picture.

Yes, Crawford, father to two young children, did have something in his hand, but it wasn’t a rifle or a shotgun. Rather it was a toy BB gun he had picked up from the shelves in the store to buy. From all accounts, it sounds a lot like the one my parents bought for me when I was about nine or ten years old.

The initial call to 9-1-1 by a customer indicated that Crawford was pointing the gun at customers. However, the statements taken since then from other customers, and the tapes reviewed by law enforcement officials, do not support this claim.

The Beaver Creek police chief claimed, immediately following the fatal shooting, that the officers had acted appropriately. More specifically, he says that they did what needed to be done in order to contain the situation, and to ensure the safety of other customers.

However, nothing in the security tapes suggests Crawford even heard the police order him to surrender the toy gun. It appears, according to the Crawford family’s lawyer, who has been given access to the tapes, that Crawford was never even aware the police were there, as he continued casually to speak on the phone until he was shot. The attorney also argues that there is no evidence on the tapes that the police gave any indication at all to Crawford to surrender, lay down the weapon or otherwise, before killing him.

Incidentally, Crawford’s family requested access to the security tapes following his death, but their request was denied for more than a month, under the pretense that letting them see the evidence would impact the investigation.

It’s also worth noting that, since the man who called 9-1-1 has also been shown the security tapes, he recanted his claim made during the emergency response call that Crawford had ever threatened anyone in the store with the BB gun.

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  • DCFem

    There are people talking about John Crawford. But our media (like the rest of American society) is segregated. Black media outlets have been consistently covering this murder. Sure, for every ten Michael Brown stories there has been one about John Crawford (and the ratio is 10 to 2 for Eric Garner), but they have kept their audience up to date on the latest developments.

    The Guardian is where I first heard the story of Ron Ritchie, the man who called 911. He should be charged with a crime. No, he didn’t murder John Crawford. But his lying to a 911 dispatcher is an indirect cause of Mr. Crawford’s death, and of the woman with a heart condition who collapsed and died after fleeing the store. She would not have run out if the cops hadn’t been inside the store shooting, and they wouldn’t have been there if Ron Ritchie hadn’t called 911. He put the lives of everyone in that Walmart in danger.

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  • Benjamin Martin

    At last, the Leftist demonization of gun owners has finally born fruit. Why aren’t Progressives applauding the Police on this incident? It is what they’ve been praying for.

    “Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. … Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that ‘prying the guns from their cold, dead hands’ thing works for me.”
    Des Moines Register Editorial Calls for Killing Gun Owners

    “The NRA…worthy of the firing squad.”
    WV Professor Christopher Swindell Calls for War on the NRA

    “It will require a domestic civil war against the gun lobby and against interpretations of the First Amendment that unleash the conglomerate rapists of public discourse, especially FOX, a network devoted to making Americans mistrust, fear, and resent one another. It could be as bloody.”
    The Coming Civil War Over Guns
    Jim Sleeper, Lecturer in Political Science, Yale University

    • Christian Piatt

      private account, fake pic, fake name. No credibility.

      • Benjamin Martin

        Can’t address the issue. No credibility.

    • Heather McAuley

      This point has no relation to the article and while it bears merit for discussion separately, in this context it becomes a straw man and distracts from the authors original point.
      Why is there a disproportionate amount of unjustified cases of deadly force being used by our police? And why is it predominately white officers and black citizens? When does a person become accountable for circumstances they set in motion based on unfounded fear and/or bigotry? Worthwhile questions for us as a nation to discuss.
      Gun rights/control is a different topic.

      • Benjamin Martin

        > based on unfounded fear and/or bigotry?

        That is the precise issue I’m addressing, bigotry against and the demonization of gun owners. The cops’ overreaction is precisely what is being pushed by progressives, and is being taught in school. Look at what happens today:

        Boy with special needs kicked out of school over ‘paper gun’

        Melody Valentin, 5th-Grader, Scolded And Searched After Bringing Paper Gun To School

        Bigotry and extremism against any type of responsible gun ownership are being promoted, and there will be social consequences.

        • Christian Piatt

          I actually refrained from writing an article about the nine year old girl who killed her instructor with an automatic weapon at a Bullets and Burgers joint.

  • ebanna22

    To DCFem’s point, mainstream media has not covered this much but black activists on Twitter have been talking a lot about it. I learned about John Crawford minutes before I learned about Mike Brown – the two incidents happened days a part.

  • Allen

    Yeah, and who is talking about Ali Muhammad Brown, a black man, who admittedly brutally, in cold blood, shot 19-year-old WHITE youngster Brendan Tevlin? Has Patheos in all its wisdom, reported on that, or you, Mr. Piatt? Nada. Or do you even care? I doubt it.

    • Gary Roth

      What a nonsensical reply to this story! Because a black man killed a white man, this changes everything? Your racism is showing!

  • bill wald

    It is dangerous to live in a “free” country. That would never had happened in the USSR. The US would be much safer if toy guns were banned and marijuana deregulated.

  • Pete Haines

    The John Crawford case happened close to where I grew up in Ohio. I asked a friend to fill me in on what she knew. This was her response: “It’s still under investigation, but supposed to [go to the] grand jury soon! There are scores of witnesses that have stated the man did nothing wrong…police say they told him twice to drop the gun…..which was a toy air gun that Wal mart sells and he was on the phone asking his wife if he should by [sic] it . The caller who made the 911 call now says he never told police that the man was waving a gun around! It’s a mess,
    again…all white community, all white police force, black man! [Ohio Attorney
    General Mike] DeWine’s office has already mishandled evidence….and that’s the
    short story!”