I just watched video of another Black man getting shot and killed by the police. Even though Crawford was killed on August 5th, the surveillance video from the Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio where he was shot and killed was just released today.
I knew better than to watch the video because I already knew how this would transpire within my mind and on my conscience. Once again, I’m asking myself, “why do you torture yourself like this? You already know what happened and how the judicial system will deal with this.”
If there is a threat that any officer would see as reasonable, then the appropriate use of force necessary to stop the threat will always be considered justified in the justice system, whether an average person see it or not. In this case, the presence of a gun would elevate things to deadly force if necessary.
Listening to the 911 call, you would think that the Wal-Mart was being held up or some crazed gunman was on the loose. The caller (I refuse to use his name) told the operator that he pointed the gun at people, waved it around, and even pointed the gun at kids. That sounds like something crazy, right? Looking at the surveillance video corresponding to the time of the 911 call, you can see that the caller is telling a complete and utter bullsh*t story.
There are people walking around Crawford and shopping, completely unafraid of this man who is supposed to be waving this gun around and pointing it at people. Crawford is actually swinging the gun back and forth in a pendulum motion in a corner of the store all by himself while he’s talking on the phone.
When the officers get there, it’s not two seconds before shots are fired and Crawford is down.
Honestly, I can’t fault the responding officers as much as some others do. They are responding to a scene based upon what they’ve been told by the operator, who has told them what she’s getting from the eyewitness caller. Second guessing the officer’s actions, maybe they could have taken a few seconds to access things themselves before taking action. Watching Crawford for a few seconds may have been enough time for them to realize that he wasn’t pointing the gun at anyone or was any kind of threat.
An alternate take on that though would be that, in a few seconds, an active shooter could drop several people with well placed shots. In this particular case, however, the only shots that were fired came from police officers.
In addition, Ohio is an Open Carry state, so Crawford could have legally walked around with a rifle as long as he was not breaking any laws. In respect to that fact, I have not seen the NRA or Open Carry Ohio make any kind of statement about this case. I’m going to assume that this would also be the case had Crawford been one of the Second Amendmenteers who walk around with their protest rifles to express their constitutionally protected rights. As there’s been no statement made, it makes me wonder if those rights are only considered sacrosanct for certain people. That’s a different post for a different day though.
The Feds have announced they will investigate this incident, but I don’t expect much to come from that as well.
What should happen, in my view, is that the 911 caller should have to face murder charges for lying about the entire incident. It’s already been documented that he changed his story AFTER he was able to view the security camera footage. An innocent man is dead because of his lies, and that child pictured above will grow up without his father. No amount of money can change that.
My wife and I are expecting our third child within the next month. We don’t know the sex of the child, and we’re waiting until birth to find out. I feel bad about being frightened about bringing a Black male into this world right now based on things going on. Between Black on Black crime and the targeting of young Black men based on stereotypes, I’m not sure if it’s a wise idea to have a son that looks just like me.
People say that it all comes down to parenting, but that obviously isn’t the case as John Crawford has proven. For some people, our lives are in the hands of those around us who judge us based on stereotypes and prejudices, and those judgments are not always within our control to shape or influence.