*The Greene County grand jury, convened Monday by a special prosecutor, determined the Beavercreek police officers were justified in shooting John Crawford III on Aug. 5, reports Cincinnati’s WCPO.
Crawford, 22, was found to have been carrying a BB/pellet rifle he picked up in the store. Police said they shot the Fairfield man because he ignored commands to drop the rifle, a statement the man’s family attorney disputes, according to the Dayton Daily News.
The Dayton Daily News reports says the footage shows Crawford holding the air rifle to his shoulder and walking around the store. Several police officers are seen rushing into the Beavercreek Walmart with guns drawn toward Crawford.
Vince Pope, attorney for the officers involved in the shooting, released the following statement: “I believe the grand jury’s decision, it’s absolutely the right decision, that the officers acted well within their training.”
Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP, disagrees.
“The Special Grand Jury in Greene County made the wrong decision. It’s a sad day in the history of Dayton,” Foward said. “We will be calling for a full and complete investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.”
The case has gained national attention in the wake of the police-involved shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Several residents of that community came to the Dayton area to protest in the days leading up to the grand jury hearing.
The Crawford case is county’s third police-involved fatal shooting in five years. There were no indictments in previous two cases.