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We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.
Langston Hughes, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (via millionen)


In Case You Missed It: Meet Ronald Ritchie, The White Man Who Lied About African-American Man John Crawford In A Walmart 911 Call, That Led To Police Murdering Crawford, Who Was Holding A BB Gun Which Was Pointed To The Ground & Then Sat On The Ground, & See How Twisted This Entire Case Is: An Explainer On The Murder of John Crawford

Sunday September 7th’s Guardian story on the Beavercreek, Ohio police murder killing of 22-year-old Wal-Mart shopper John Crawford, on August 5th, brings to light new facts about the case which should make any reader’s blood curdle.

Here’s the excerpt of the opening of the story…

Doubts cast on witness’s account of black man killed by police in Walmart

Alleged to have threatened customers, John Crawford, 22, was having a phone conversation while holding an unloaded BB gun

Jon Swaine in New York
Sunday 7 September 2014 10.37 EDT

When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat.

“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters: “He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”

One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian. He maintained that Crawford was “waving it around”, which attorneys for Crawford’s family deny.

Ritchie told several reporters after the 5 August shooting that he was an “ex-marine”. When confronted with his seven-week service record, however, he confirmed that he had been quickly thrown out of the US marine corps in 2008 after being declared a “fraudulent enlistment”, over what he maintains was simply a mixup over his paperwork….

And, here are just a few of the additional/primary pieces of information about the case covered later on in the story…

• After everything was said and done, “Crawford, 22, turned out to be holding an unloaded BB air rifle that he had picked up from a store shelf. After Ritchie said Crawford appeared to be ‘trying to load’ the gun, the 911 dispatcher relayed to an officer that it was believed the gunman ‘just put some bullets inside’…”

• Crawfords’ attorneys informed the Guardian that autopsy findings concluded Crawford was shot “in the back of his left arm and in his left side, supporting their claim that he was turned away from the police officer who shot him.”

• Crawford’s family has “pleaded” with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release the store’s surveillance video of the shooting to the public. For all intents and purposes, it fullyundermines statements made by 911 caller Ronald Richie, who, according to the story, made the only call to the police about “the incident.” And, while DeWine is quoted stating that releasing the tape to the public “would be ‘playing with dynamite,’” someone from DeWine’s office let Ritchie review the recording (apparently, to get his fabulist story “straight”)!

• Crawford’s father notes this about the video in the article: “‘It was an execution, no doubt about it,’ alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. ‘It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.’”

• The Crawfords’ attorneys have requested that “the department of justice…open a civil rights investigation into the Ohio incident, only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history.”

• Aside from the reported facts dictating the greater truth that Crawford was focused upon his phone call—pretty much totally unaware that the police were approaching him with their guns drawn—it would appear that it wasn’t until after he was shot that he realized they were even speaking to him and telling him to put his gun down.

• Perhaps the most ominous new fact—and there are many, so you’ll have to read the article in its entirety to understand how truly twisted this case is—reported in this Guardian story is the following excerpt. It’s…

…only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history. A white officer has been placed on administrative leave following Crawford’s shooting…

…Beavercreek police and the attorney general’s office have declined to name the officer who shot Crawford. However, after Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams were placed on leave following the incident, Darkow has returned to work but Williams has not.
Williams was the officer behind the only other fatal police shooting in Beavercreek. In 2010, he shot dead Scott Brogli, a retired master sergeant in the US air force. According to Williams and a colleague, Brogli charged at them with a large knife after they went to investigate the 45-year-old’s drunken beating of his wife. A grand jury declined to bring any charges…

(Bold type is diarist’s emphasis)

The story concludes by informing readers that a Greene County grand jury “is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on 22 September.”

#            #            #



UPDATE (7:43 PM 9/24/2014): The grand jury has failed to indict the officers involved in John Crawford’s murder. They have also released the surveillance video of the shooting [TW: Violent Content]

UPDATE (7:46 PM 9/24/2014): The Department of Justice has announced that it is opening a federal investigation of the murder of John Crawford.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that he is turning the investigative files over to the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights review. The federal government has been monitoring the case and agreed to a review.

"The Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the FBI will conduct a thorough and independent review of the evidence and take appropriate action if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes," said Jennifer Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

UPDATE (7:53 PM 9/24/2014): More information about the officers who shot John Crawford has been released.


Officer Sean Williams (left) and Sgt. David Darkow (right) were already on the scene, according to a statement released by Beavercreek Police on Aug. 6. They moved to the pet section, at the back of the store, where they confronted Crawford “holding a rifle,” the statement said.

“Officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” the statement said. After he failed to comply with officers’ commands, police said, he was shot. [NBC News]

This post will be updated when new updates are available.

Source: Bob Swern for Daily Kos

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