Mall at Fairfield Commons

Matters Of Black Lives: Three Protesters Look Back At Christmas Eve Arrests

May 28, 2015
Black Lives Matter protesters at the Mall at Fairfield Commons on December 24, 2014.
Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter protesters will return to the federal courthouse in downtown Dayton Friday afternoon to demand justice for John Crawford III. Crawford, who was Black, was shot and killed by a white police officer at the Beavercreek Walmart in August 2014. Crawford was talking on his cell phone and holding a BB gun sold in the store when someone called 911 on him; police say they believed he had a real gun, and shot within seconds of entering the store.

Two recent protests over the police killing of John Crawford III were the first ones to lead to arrests. walmart protest
Wayne Baker / WYSO

All 16 people arrested in connection with two recent protests in Beavercreek have had their initial day in court. Each of them plead not guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespass, obstructing official business, and in one case, resisting arrest.

Last year, Dayton-based Leaders for Equality in Action or LEAD, filed a federal complaint with the Highway Administration against the city of Beavercreek after it denied an RTA request to place three bus stops near the mall.

After the Highway Administration  threatened to strip the city of nearly $11 million in funding if it didn't comply with RTA's request, Beavercreek's City Council voted late last year to approve the new bus stops. The new RTA bus stops on Pentagon Boulevard were up and running Sunday morning.

The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Civil Rights has ordered the City of Beavercreek to revisit its decision denying RTA's request to add several bus stops near the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The FHA says Beavercreek's decision is in violation of the Civil Rights Act.