John Crawford, III: A racist police killing in Cleveland
Ohio is an open-carry state
Anyone who thinks that the recent shootings in Ohio are not racially motivated has not studied the case of John Crawford, III. Crawford was shot at a Cleveland area Walmart while carrying a toy pistol. Someone called and reported that a man was pointing a gun at people inside the store. Police shot Crawford and later discovered that the weapon he was carrying was a fake and, upon further investigation, they found that he had not been waving it, but carrying it at his side while talking on the phone. They, then, interrogated his frightened girlfriend for 90 minutes before they told her he was dead.
I can hear the detractors now. He should not have been carrying a gun in the store. He was a thug. He should not point any weapons at anyone. Again, the videotape shows him walking and talking on a phone and not threatening or interacting with anyone. Why is this important? Ohio is an open-carry state. That is right, John Crawford had every right to walk through Walmart with that toy, it ludicrous to even have to say that, rifle.
As a matter of fact, on October 4, one group protested the killing saying “ Nothing that John Crawford did was illegal. In fact, police did not even have the right to confront him about anything he had done, and would not have had that right even if he was carrying an actual assault weapon like protesters did today, standing in the very place he lost his life to over-zealous police.” That is right, the police had no right to confront Crawford or for that matter, Tamir Rice. Let me reiterate that, John Crawford had a right to be carrying that gun in Walmart. There are pictures of people all over the internet carrying guns in Beavercreek, Ohio. Why was John Crawford shot?
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere within the 90 minute interrogation of his grieving girlfriend. They asked her why he had a gun? What was he doing with the gun? You can go to jail if you knew he had a gun when he walked in the store. He did not make it.
For 90 minutes policed grilled this distraught young lady about a gun that never existed but it only took them a few seconds to gun down the father of her child. He had not committed a crime. He had a legal right to carry a gun through that store. The police did not ask him a question. They assumed he was a dangerous criminal for one reason and one reason only. He was black.
I am dying to hear how the right-wing justifies this. I am long for the day when I hear them tell me that he was a ‘thug’ with a gun. I really want them to explain how the cops who shot Crawford was not indicted. I do not want them to explain it to me, however, I want them to explain it to his children. Like he said, “It’s not real”