Hit & Run

'Your Eyes Are Kind of Messed-Up Looking,' Says Cop Interrogating Girlfriend of Man Wrongly Killed By Cops

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Rodney Curd
Public Records

There's a new development in the death of John Crawford, the man gunned down by police in an Ohio Walmart last August. He was holding a fake gun at the time—an air rifle that he had picked up off the shelf of that same store. The cops claimed that he pointed the weapon at other people and refused to drop it when they approached him, but surveillance footage showed that neither of those things occurred; the police killed him on sight, before he had any time to react.

Thanks to a public records request, we now know that Crawford's girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, endured a different kind of police mistreatment. Shortly after his death, she was brought to the police station and aggressively questioned by detective Rodney Curd. No one told her that Crawford was dead; instead, they insisted that he had brought a gun into the store and demanded that she explain why.

Shaken and crying, Thomas repeatedly insisted that Crawford didn't own a gun, and wasn't carrying a gun when she dropped him off at the Walmart. But Curd didn't believe her. He accused her of lying to him, threatened to send her to jail, and asked her whether she was on drugs or suicidal. He even insulted her appearance, saying, "Your eyes are kind of messed up looking and you seem lethargic, but I don't know if it's because you are upset or not."

But it's obvious Thomas was upset, as a six-minute video clip of the 94-minute interrogation makes clear. And she hadn't even learned the awful news yet. After concluding the interrogation, Curd coldly informed Tasha that Crawford was dead, according to The Guardian:

"As a result of his actions, he is gone," said the detective, as she slumped in her chair and cried.

What a terrible way to treat a woman whose companion had just been wrongly killed by cops. Of course, the police insist the killing was justified, and a grand jury—surprise, surprise—declined to indict the officer who pulled the trigger.

As for Curd, he said he didn't know at the time of the interrogation that the gun was fake and available at Walmart. He was operating under the assumption that Crawford must have smuggled it into the store. But even that explanation is suspect. According to Crawford's attorneys, it would have been perfectly legal under the state's open-carry laws for the man to carry a gun into Walmart.

Related: "Police Union Boss Defends Killing of Tamir Rice: 'When We Tell You To Do Something, Do It.'"