A special grand jury has refused to press charges against the two police officers who shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford III inside a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio on August 5.
The grand jury was made up of nine people—seven of whom had to find Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams guilty for any criminal charges to be made.
According to local TV station, WDTN, the grand jury heard 18 testimonies and was shown surveillance footage of the officers firing at Crawford. In addition, Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier played 911 calls made by 24-year-old Ronald Ritchie, a white man, from the store. Ritchie initially claimed Crawford was walking around the store, waving the gun at shoppers. It wasn’t until after Crawford, a father of two, was killed that officers learned the gun was a toy he picked up from one of the aisles. New surveillance footage of the events of August 5 was shown publicly.
“The events of August 5th were tragic and we wish the outcome of that evening had been different, reads a statement from the City of Beavercreek regarding the jury's decision.
“However, based on the information the responding officers had and Mr. Crawford’s failure to comply with the responding officers orders, the officers did what they were trained to do to protect the public. The officers followed accepted law enforcement training protocol in their response to the report of an active threat in the Wal-Mart store. The grand jury review of the evidence and subsequent no bill decision indicates the officers’ actions were not of a criminal nature and justified under Ohio law.”
The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would conduct an independent review of the shooting.
“The Ohio Attorney General’s Office respects the work completed by the grand jury in Greene County," said the Ohio Attorney General's Office in a statement. "Now that the state criminal investigation has finished, it is an appropriate time for the United States Department of Justice to look into whether any federal laws were violated during this shooting.”