Grand Jury Clears Police In OH Wal-Mart Killing; DOJ To Investigate


A special grand jury has cleared police officers in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man at an Ohio Wal-Mart, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is turning the case over to the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights review. Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said a Greene County grand jury found the police were justified when they shot John Crawford III as he walked around the store holding a pellet gun and talking on his cellphone on Aug. 5. A 911 caller reported Crawford was waving what appeared to be a rifle in the store.

Police said he didn’t obey commands to put down what turned out to be an air rifle he apparently had taken off a shelf. “That was really the question for this jury,” Piepmeier said. “Was the officer reasonable to think himself or someone else would receive physical harm?” The prosecutor called the shooting a “perfect storm of circumstances.” If one of them had failed to occur, Crawford would be alive, he said. The pellet gun was out of the box and on a shelf. Crawford picked it up and aimlessly walked around the store. The gun resembled an automatic weapon.

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