Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine say he is appointing a grand jury to investigate the killing of 22 year-old John Crawford inside a Beavercreek Walmart earlier this month.
DeWine says the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is moving as quickly as possible to provide answers as to what happened the night Crawford was killed. He was shot by two Beavercreek police officers after reportedly brandishing an air rifle inside a Walmart store; at the time of the incident, another woman, 37-year-old Angela Williams of Fairborn, died while trying to leave the store.
At a press conference Tuesday in Xenia, DeWine said he has played a portion of the surveillance video from inside the Walmart store for Crawford’s father and family attorney.
“Like all of us, Mr. Crawford’s parents have questions about how this tragic event unfolded," he said. "And I felt it was only right that they be included as early as possible in this investigation. We must remember that they are parents who lost a son, and they do deserve answers.”
DeWine says BCI has collected lots of physical and photographic evidence, and spoken with at least 50 witnesses, with another 30 or so interviews scheduled. He says he’s also reached out to a "use of force" expert to look at tactics used by the officers present that night.
DeWine has been under pressure to share the surveillance video with the public. Alwiyah Sharriff with the Ohio Student Association at Ohio State University helped organize a protest outside his Columbus office earlier this week.
“Well I’m happy that the family got to see the tape and Attorney General Dewine gave us some more information about the case,” said Sharriff, but she says she and others will continue following the case.
“My question is at what point does someone's behavior justify murdering them?” said Darshel Sehbi of Beavercreek. She has also asked DeWine's office to release the video and filed a public records request. Sehbi also expressed concerns about finding an impartial jury.
DeWine says he's confident the investigation will be fair, and though he’s promised transparency, says releasing the video to the public now could hamper the investigation.