Today is two-years from the day police wrongfully shot John Crawford III inside a Walmart in Beavercreek, Oh. This case is one of the most egregious police shooting against an innocent citizen in Ohio. Crawford was a young father, who was simply shopping in the hunting section of a local Walmart.
A bias and irresponsible customer called 911 and grossly exaggerated and fabricated his observance of Crawford. He saw a black man with a gun and assumed automatically that he was a threat. An unforgivable call that led to a fatal end. While other customers carried on with their shopping Crawford walked casually with the gun on his shoulder as he talked on his cell to a love one. In one video clip you see two cops rushing in like gang busters. As soon as they saw the accused citizen they rushed in and began shooting. There was no attempt to de-escalate, no defensive tactic of approach, there was no concrete evidence of anyone including the police of being in imminent danger. It was a total ambush. To add insult to injury the police were not indicted and was never brought to justice for killing an innocent citizen. Instead the law of the land allowed these tactless police officers who befoul the oath and honor of the badge, to receive a get out of jail free pass.
The law as it stands dishonors the right to justice and reduces the standard of accountability. A grand jury based their decision on a law that says deadly force can be used if there is a reasonable presumption of fear. The language in the law is too broad and one’s interpretation of reasonable can differ by opinion. Laws that provides exception to murder should never be based off someone’s feelings it should be based on action. This is why laws that deals with deadly force should be determine by actions of absolute threats. The National NAACP has adopted the Cincinnati Chapter’s NAACP resolution on wrongful use of deadly force by law enforcement and is pushing for this change in the law nationwide. Justice is well over due for the Crawford family and unfortunately, many other families like them.
Change comes when people stop taking “NO” for an answer and fight to change the wrongs inflicted upon the innocent. Not only do we have a right to change unjust laws but it is our duty to ensure that laws are in place to protect us and not provide immunity to kill us.
It is my endless fight to change the law in eliminating the language of allowing “deadly force if one has a reasonable presumption of fear” and changing it to “deadly force can only be use if the threat is absolute.” This doesn’t prevent an anxious or corrupted cop from shooting citizens but what it does remove is the safety net that has allowed one police officer after another to get away with murder. It separates the cops who used deadly force in an actual threatening situation from the cops that negligently over reacted off assumption or bias. The responsibility is too great to have the standards for accountability to be so low. I hope to work closer with the Crawford family to make this standard of accountability the law of the land, in honor of their love one, John Crawford III.