John Crawford III walked into a Beavercreek, Ohio, Wal-Mart on Aug. 5. He was there with his girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, to get marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. The plan was to make s'mores for a family cookout.
Once at the store, he picked up an unboxed BB gun from the shelf and began walking the aisles.
Police, who were called to the scene, shot Crawford moments after they arrived. Now a video has surfaced showing the police interrogation of Thomas, who was accused of lying, threatened with jail time and asked if she was high on drugs.
For more than an hour, police questioned Thomas, 26, who had been taken directly from the shooting to the police station. During the interrogation, Thomas offered to take a lie detector test and eventually ended up swearing on the lives of her family that Crawford did not have a gun when he entered the store, according to The Guardian, which viewed the tape.
"You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail," Detective Rodney Curd told Thomas on the recording as she cried. The 94-minute police video was released to The Guardian by "the office of Mike DeWine, the Ohio attorney general, in response to a public records request" made by the newspaper.
"As a result of his actions, he is gone," Curd finally said to Thomas, almost an hour-and-a-half after the fatal shooting occurred. An already breathless Thomas slumped in her chair and cried, The Guardian reports.
Crawford, 22, was shot after a customer called 911 and claimed that he was pointing the gun at people inside the store. Video surveillance footage taken from the store on Aug. 5 shows Crawford entering the store and picking up the unboxed BB gun from a shelf. It also shows him carrying the BB gun at his side and over his shoulder while he talked on the phone with an ex-girlfriend. It doesn't show Crawford point the gun at anyone walking by.
According to The Guardian, Curd immediately asked Thomas whether she and Crawford had criminal records. Thomas explained, through tears, that she may have traffic violations and "that she had been arrested for petty theft as a juvenile."
"Tell me where he got the gun from!" Curd yelled repeatedly, even banging his hands on a desk between him and Thomas.
Thomas told Curd that Crawford didn't have a gun and insisted that the only thing he was carrying was a grocery bag.
When Thomas was asked whether Crawford owned a gun, she replied, "Not that I know."
"Don't tell me, 'Not that you know,' because that's the first thing I realize somebody's not telling me the truth," Curd said.
He later repeated: "You need to tell me the truth," and "You need to be truthful."
At one point Curd implied that Crawford's ex-girlfriend LeeCee Johnson, who is also the mother of Crawford's two sons, was inside the store and that Crawford might have gone to the store with the intention of killing her.
"Did he ever mention 'I'm going to shoot that bitch' or something like that?" the detective asked Thomas. Thomas insisted that he hadn't. Johnson was not in the store on Aug. 5, according to The Guardian, and was, in fact, miles away at her home in Cincinnati. She was on the phone with Crawford when he was shot.
Thomas told the detective again and again that she was not lying and swore to God that she was telling the truth. At one point she swore on the "grave of her late brother" and "on everything I have" that she had told Curd everything she knew, The Guardian reports.
Two special agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation interviewed Curd on Aug. 8 about his involvement in the case. According to The Guardian, Curd explained that "he believed the deceased had brought a weapon into the Wal-Mart and geared the interview with that assumption."
He told the detectives that he didn't believe that Thomas didn't see a gun, which is why "he became aggressive with her during the interview."
The attorneys for the Crawford family have noted, since the shooting, that Ohio is an open-carry state, meaning that had the weapon been real, Crawford would still have been legally allowed to walk around with the gun. They have also insisted that police approached and fired their weapons in haste before assessing the entirety of the situation.
A grand jury decided in September that no officer would face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Crawford.
Read more at The Guardian.