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BCI Releases Report On Probe Of Beavercreek Police Shooting

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The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation has released the report on its probe of the officer-involved shooting at a Beavercreek store in August. A Greene County grand jury last week found no wrongdoing on the part of two white officers who shot and killed an African-American man, 22-year-old John Crawford III. The Justice Department is now reviewing the case. Jerry Kenney of member station WYSO in Yellow Springs reports.

At close to 300 pages, the BCI investigation report includes testimony from police, Walmart employees, and 911 caller Ronald Ritchie--who had reported to police that a man was walking through the store waving a gun at people.  
 
It confirms that after responding to the call, police officer Sean Williams fired shots, apparently not aware that John Crawford was holding a pellet gun sold in the store.  
 
Following the shots fired by police, pharmacy employees called 911 and hid in a nearby bathroom before police gave them the okay to come out.  
 
The BCI report also says that for at least two days prior to August 5th, store video shows several people picking up and looking at the same, or a similar gun that Crawford was holding when he was shot.   
 
The case is now in the hands of federal investigators. But Professor of Law with the University of Dayton, Thaddeus Hoffmeister says, the indictment of police officers in cases like this are harder at the federal level.  
 
“You can possibly get police to change their practices, and the DOJ has done that in the past—the Department off Justice—but the challenge here is you have to show that the police officer had the specific intent to use more force than reasonably necessary under the circumstances.  That a high threshold to meet.”  
 
Hoffmeister believes the Crawford family does have a strong civil case if they choose to pursue it.  The family and its attorneys have stated they’ll wait to hear what federal investigators find.
 

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