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Grand Jury Convenes in Ohio Police Shooting

PHOTO: As a Greene County grand jury convenes in the police shooting death of James Crawford, hundreds of family supporters will begin an 11 mile journey demanding justice in the case. Photo credit: Eartha Terrell, Ohio Student Association.
PHOTO: As a Greene County grand jury convenes in the police shooting death of James Crawford, hundreds of family supporters will begin an 11 mile journey demanding justice in the case. Photo credit: Eartha Terrell, Ohio Student Association.
September 22, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hundreds of people are starting an 11-mile pilgrimage today to demand justice for John Crawford.

A grand jury also convenes today to determine whether to indict the police officers involved in the death of the 22-year-old, who was shot August 5 while holding a BB gun inside a Walmart store in Beavercreek.

James Hayes, an organizer with the Ohio Student Association, says protesters will walk from the store where the shooting occurred to the Greene County courthouse, hoping to bring national attention to the issue.

"It's important for those of us who live in Ohio to understand that this isn't an isolated incident, but this is reflective of a larger policy agenda and a larger trend in police practices, which we have to address at systemic and structural level," he stresses.

Hayes says supporters want to bring federal attention to the case, and are joining the Crawford family in demanding that the case be taken over by the Department of Justice.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has promised a thorough and fair investigation in Crawford's death.

Crawford's shooting death came amid national protests in the officer-involved deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

Hayes says a lack of social and racial justice is a serious problem around the country, and he hopes young people can unite to find a solution.

"Young people who've been activated in the wake of the recent string of police killings across the country, especially people of color, so we can learn from each other and also participate in some conversations about strategy and vision moving forward," he says.

A series of events across Ohio have focused on justice in the Crawford case.

Some people are demanding the store surveillance video of the incident be released to the family.

Dewine has since allowed the family to see six minutes of footage, and the family wants it released to the public. Dewine has declined, saying that could hurt the case should it go to trial.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH