An Ohio special grand jury decided after days of deliberation that no officers will be charged in the death of 22-year-old John Crawford III, who was shot and killed inside a Beaverton Wal-Mart while carrying an air rifle sold at the store.
Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier announced Wednesday morning at a press conference that the jury found the Aug. 5 police shooting justified.
WHIO reports that this is the third time in the past five years that an Ohio grand jury has decided not to indict police in a case in which the shooting was highly questionable.
According to witnesses, Crawford was walking around the store carrying a gun that is similar to a BB gun at his waist. Police responded to calls of a man carrying a gun, and when they encountered Crawford, they claim, he didn’t respond to calls to drop the gun and was shot.
Crawford’s family has stated emphatically since the shooting that race has played a factor in Crawford’s death and that the shooting was not justified. It was also reported that Crawford was on the phone at the time of the shooting and may not have heard the police commands. The family is demanding that the federal authorities investigate the case.
Piepmeier also announced that the surveillance video of the shooting will be released to the public, according to Cincinnati.com.