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Attorneys for Crawford Family Ask DeWine to Pass Investigation Off to Feds
DAYTON -- Supporters of John Crawford III, who was shot and killed Aug. 5 by a Beavercreek police officer while holding a pellet gun in Walmart, held a news conference this morning to provide an update of recent plans to rally for justice.
Also today, the attorneys for the Crawford family released a letter addressed to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The letter asked DeWine to appoint a special prosecutor to the case.
DeWine's office took over the investigation from Greene County Prosecutor Stephen Haller shortly after the shooting. Wright & Schulte LLC claims in the letter that DeWine's ties to Greene County might not be a full, fair and honest evaluation of the police officers' conduct during the shooting.
The attorney mentions DeWine's previous work as Greene County's Prosecutor, and his residence in Greene County, where he ran campaigns for Ohio Senate, U.S. House, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and Ohio Attorney General.
"The point we are trying to make is that ties to Greene County naturally run very deep indeed," the letter states. "Given these strong ties to the Greene County community, the appearance of a conflict of interest is as obvious to us as was the conflict Mr. Haller apparently recognized when he asked your office to take over the investigation."
Wright & Schulte also is asking DeWine request the U.S. Department of Justice begin its own investigation into the shooting. They also continue to push for the release of the Walmart video that shows the events before, during and after the shooting. they mention wanting to see the actions of Crawford, the police officers who first responded as well as the man who called 911 to first report Crawford was carrying a gun.
During that call to 911, Crawford was reportedly seen pointing the gun -- described later as an MK-177 pellet gun made by Crosman -- at customers and at one point possibly loading the weapon, while standing in the pets section of the store.
Wright & Schulte says since Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers "publicly exonerated" the officers involved, they are asking DeWine to combat the misinformation about this case.
"We saw the look on your face when you saw the video for the first time, and it was not a look of someone who thought the officers acted appropriately," the letter states. "Instead, it was a look of horror. Everyone in that room who saw the video knew that John was the innocent victim of police brutality. Yet, because the video has not been released and no contrary (and accurate) information has been used to rebut those who are marshaling inaccurate facts to defend the officers, we fear a public consensus is building that may be difficult to overcome, even when the real facts and video come out."
AUGUST 22: Crawford Family Attorney Reacts to Officer Being Cleared for Work
AUGUST 22: A Discussion on Race Relations in the Dayton Area
AUGUST 21: Attorney Talks About Officer-Involved Shooting Video on National Radio Program
AUGUST 7: Coroner Identifies Walmart Shooting Suspect Killed by Police
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