24 Sep 2014

No Indictment For Police Who Killed Man in Wal-Mart for Carrying a Toy Gun

A special grand jury continued reviewing evidence for the second day in the row Tuesday to determine if there is probable cause to indict Beavercreek police officers in the fatal shooting last month of Walmart shopper John Crawford III.

Although the case has gained national attention in the wake of the police-involved shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., it's not the first of its kind in Greene County. This is the third time in the past five years police in the county have fatally shot someone. In both the earlier two cases, grand juries found no probable cause that a crime had been committed.

The Crawford grand jury could also decide not to indict anyone, said Jeff Pedro, a retired Kettering police officer, adding that his opinion is based on limited information he's heard about the case. But, he cautioned, "the best thing is to wait for the facts."

The special grand jury in the Crawford case was convened by special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier on Monday. It reviewed evidence for several hours Tuesday in the Aug. 5 shooting of Crawford, who was found to have been carrying a BB/pellet rifle he picked up in the store. Police said they shot the 22-year-old Fairfield man because he ignored commands to drop the rifle, a statement the Crawford family attorney disputes.

The grand jury proceedings at the Greene County Courthouse in Xenia started just before 8 a.m. until being dismissed at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. A much smaller contingent of demonstrators was outside the Greene County Courthouse than on Monday, but did include a of couple people who drove from the Ferguson area to meet with other groups.

In 2010, Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams — who, along with Sgt. David Darkow were the officers involved in Crawford's death — was found to be justified in the shooting and killing of ex-Air Force Master Sgt. Scott A. Brogli.
In 2013, Greene County Sheriff's Office deputies were found by a grand jury to have been justified in killing Paul E. Shenk Jr. during a shootout in Yellow Springs.

"The reason there's so much controversy here and in Ferguson, is people are judging the police just as if this was a situation involving a citizen," said Pedro, who retired from law enforcement after nearly 30 years, including 25 years with Kettering's police department. "Citizens are required to only use deadly force when they believe their life or someone else's life is in imminent danger."

Pedro, a firing range owner and trainer who hosts Shootin' from the Hip on 95.7 WHIO, said United States Supreme Court rulings have held that law enforcement officers have greater latitude because they have a dangerous, rapidly-evolving, stressful job. "Police officers don't have to be right. They need to be reasonable."

In what was Beavercreek's first police-involved shooting, officials said Brogli charged at Williams and another officer with a large knife when the officers responded to Brogli's apartment on a domestic incident call.

In Williams' 2010 case, a grand jury looked at evidence, including Facebook messages, photos of the butcher knife Brogli raised at officers and testimony from Brogli's son. "He said that they did what they had to do," wrote the detective who informed Christian Brogli that his father had died.
"Scott jumped up and began charging at us with a large knife above his right shoulder," wrote another officer, Daniel Krall. He and Williams said Brogli charged at them after they ordered him to drop the knife.

- See more at: http://www.whio.com/news/news/crime-law/special-grand-jury-selected-john-crawford-case/nhRwM\


  1. We have lost our country, we are in the new dark ages of man!

  2. Speaking of "reasonable" how long before millions or armed citizens, when seeing the cops coming just start shooting and consider it self defense?