A Year After John Crawford III’s Shooting by Police, His Family Is Still Waiting for Justice


On Aug. 5, 2014, John Crawford III and his girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, went shopping at a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. They planned to buy marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers to make s’mores at a family cookout.

While on the phone with the mother of his two children, Crawford picked up a toy BB rifle. Another customer, Ronald Ritchie, 24, called 911, claiming that Crawford was waving a gun and pointing it at customers.

Officers immediately arrived at the scene, including Officer Sean Williams, who shot and killed Crawford. The Beavercreek police claimed that Crawford ignored their commands to put the weapon down.

The store surveillance video that was released showed Crawford standing in the aisle by himself carrying the toy gun. When police arrived, he was immediately shot, contradicting claims that they had given Crawford orders to drop the gun.

Ritchie, who made the initial 911 call, later recanted his claims about having seen Crawford wave the gun and point it at customers.

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