Video footage has been released in the shooting death of John Crawford, the man who was gunned down in a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart by cops who apparently thought he was armed and dangerous. In reality, Crawford had picked up a pellet rifle from the hardware section of the store and was carrying it around while he talked on the phone.
The police maintained that Crawford had refused orders to drop the weapon; the video footage proves definitively that that was not the case—the cops shot the man almost immediately after encountering him. Claims in some media outlets that Crawford had been walking around the store and pointing the gun at people also seem false, unless those occurrences happened during the few seconds that Crawford was out of range of the surveillance camera.
Nevertheless, a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved, according to The Huffington Post. The U.S. Department of Justice will look into the matter, however.
When this story first broke, many wondered whether mitigating factors would emerge to explain, if not justify, the reaction of law enforcement officers. To my eyes at least, the surveillance video confirms the worst case scenario: The cops killed this man for almost no reason whatsoever.
Watch the video below.