Police Accountability is long overdue. I have written to Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Congresswoman Marsh Fudge, US Congressman Sherrod Brown all from my state of Ohio, and Congressman John Lewis a civil rights icon. I hope that one or all legislators will adopt this legislative proposal as a federal mandate for all law enforcement across the country. This legislative proposal is named in honor of John Crawford III who was wrongfully murdered by police while shopping in a Beavercreek Walmart. This proposal also represents every precious soul that was lost by an unskilled and tactless public servant that we pay with our tax dollars to protect and serve us. This is also for every black citizen who live in fear that their lives are not valued because this country has written in the law immunity for cops to kill us. We must continue to fight, even for those who don’t have the will to fight for themselves. It was Dr. King who said “Our lives began to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
If you agree with this proposal please share and write or call the congressmen and women listed above or your local congress person and tell them to support the John Crawford III Law.
It reads as follows:
John Crawford III Law (Police Accountability for Wrongful Use of Deadly Force)
On August 5th, 2014, John Crawford III, age 22 was wrongfully shot and killed by police while shopping inside a Beavercreek Walmart. Mr. Crawford had picked up a bb air rifle while shopping inside the store. Mr. Crawford was engaged in a phone call with the bb air rifle in hand, and a customer, Ronald Ritchie called 911 and grossly fabricating his account of a man with a gun pointing it at other customers. Moments later, police entered the store and without any efforts to properly assess the situation, remove customers or wait for adequate reinforcement, they rushed inside and on sight of Mr. Crawford, Officer Sean Williams shot and killed him in less than a second.
Mr. John Crawford III, who was someone’s son, father and an American citizen was killed while shopping at his local Walmart. Nothing was out of order about Mr. Crawford holding a bb air rifle that he was considering for purchase, unless we are to believe that without any evidence of a violent act, a young black man with a gun is an automatic threat. Mr. Crawford was further denied justice when a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Williams despite his careless and wrongful use of deadly force against an innocent man on September 22, 2014.
Therefore, the Crawford Family, Cincinnati and Dayton NAACP, and many other organizations support and implore the adoption of the John Crawford III Law to address incidents of wrongful use of deadly force by law enforcement to provide accountability and justice for citizens who suffered the ultimate consequence for another’s misperception.
WHEREAS, states that have Open Carry Laws should have a mandatory protocol on standards of approach by law enforcement so that citizens with a legal and or non-lethal (ie. toy) gun are not gunned down at the sight of a perceived weapon.
WHEREAS, law enforcement use of deadly force should always be the last resort; being their primary roles are to serve and protect and bring the accused to justice, not to become Judge, Jury and Executioner. The use of deadly force is currently excusable by one’s perception of a threat instead of tangible evidence of a threat ; and
WHEREAS, the lack of legal accountability towards law enforcement officers who either negligently or intentionally kill an unarmed and/or innocent citizen is creating an unhealthy mutual fear that is damaging the relationship between police and communities; and
WHEREAS, a judicial system that can be corrupt and biased thus affording law enforcement officers broad discretion in determining what is reasonable presumption of fear, which has led to many non-indictments and exonerations for police officers, while families are left helpless and without justice; and
WHEREAS, law Enforcement Agencies that perform more training hours in Firearm Training than in De-Escalation Training are contributing to a police culture that is more volatile than tactful, which can lead to increased instances of the wrongful use of deadly force under false pretenses of an impending threat than an actual threat; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the John Crawford III Law will enforce a mandatory protocol on standards of approach. To ensure the safety of citizens and law enforcement officers. A uniformed standard of approach that requires officers to do their due diligence and assess the situation before engaging a perceived threat; and
THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the John Crawford III Law will eliminate ambiguous language in the law that allows law enforcement to use deadly force under the broadly interpreted “reasonable presumption of fear of a threat” and support a nationwide standard that raises accountability by reducing the use of deadly force to incidents of absolute threats; and
THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the John Crawford III Law will require mandatory drug testing of all in law enforcement who discharged their fire arms to ensure the mental discernment of the officer(s) was not compromised or under the influence of any illegal substances.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the John Crawford III Law will enforce mandatory de-escalation training for all law enforcement agencies with the requirement that de-escalation training hours be equivalent or more than firearm training.
THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the John Crawford III Law will enforce on all law enforcement officers, who are paid by tax payer’s dollars, a mandatory termination and a permanent band from any position in law enforcement who are found to have violated the rights of any citizen and, or who has wrongfully used deadly force where evidence prove there was no impeding threat.
Definition of Incidents of Absolute threats:
- Visibly approaching an officer or citizen in a violent or threatening manner
- Threatening an officer with a deadly weapon
- Deployment of bullets
- Victim(s) Bystander(s) injured by suspect
T. Nicole is a concerned citizen of Cincinnati, who advocates for the voiceless and underserved in our communities. She is also the author of “I Want my Daddy… The Psychology of Abandonment available on Amazon. Check out prior posts and express yourself. boldwriting.com is where courageous, controversial, and thought provoking writing happens.