Press Statement issued on July 25, 2018, concerning the police shooting of John Crawford by Dayton injury attorneys:
Michael Wright and Dennis Mulvhill, Attorneys for the Crawford Family
As is customary, the City of Beavercreek and Officer Sean Williams have hired expert witnesses to defend their actions in the federal civil lawsuit filed by the Crawford family pertaining to the shooting death of John Crawford, on August 5, 2014, at the Beavercreek Walmart. In a remarkable and unprecedented twist, those hand-picked experts seem to have taken the side of the Crawford family in this litigation and concluded John’s shooting never should have happened.
Under the US Constitution, and Ohio law that allows citizens to openly carry guns, particularly in stores that sell guns, before police can use lethal force there must be an “imminent” threat of serious bodily injury or death to others. The Crawford family has always maintained that holding a gun in one hand, pointed at the floor, while talking on the phone with the other hand and bothering no one, could not be defined as an imminent threat under any circumstance, but particularly so, when John was turned away from the officers and looking only at the shelves in front of him.
The City’s expert witnesses now seem to agree with the Crawford family. The City has settled into a primary defense in the civil lawsuit (despite evolving, conflicting accounts by the officers shortly after the shooting) that John “turned aggressively” towards the officers with the gun in this hand, thus creating an imminent threat. However, the City’s experts have undermined that defense and now agree with the Crawford family that John did no such thing.
First, the City hired a forensic medical expert who testified that since John’s wounds showed the bullets entering the left side of the body and exiting the right side, that John never turned towards the officers prior to being shot.
Second, the City’s police expert said that if John had never turned toward the officers, he could not have been an imminent threat, and the shooting would not have been constitutionally acceptable.
Together, these City experts say officer Williams violated John’s constitutional rights when shooting and killing him. It is difficult to overstate the importance of these extraordinary admissions—the expert witnesses selected by the City and Officer Williams have turned against Officer Williams and the City and concluded that officer Williams had no legal right to shoot and kill John Crawford. The family has always known this to be true, but this is the first time in four years it appears the City seems to agree.
Plaintiffs are unaware of any other case involving a police shooting where the experts hired by the officers to exonerate the officers actually implicate the officers instead.
The family wonders whether the state prosecutors who presented this case to the grand jury let the grand jury know that the defense offered by Officer Williams and Beavercreek was based on events that never actually occurred. Nevertheless, the family looks forward to a federal civil jury hearing all of the evidence in this case so that justice for John’s family can finally be achieved.
For more information, please contact:
Wright & Schulte, LLC
130 W. 2nd Street
Dayton, Ohio 45046
(937) 222-7477- Office
(937) 222-7911- Fax