John Crawford III was fatally shot by a police officer after he picked up a pellet gun from the toy section of Walmart. Store security footage even shows Crawford walking around the store with the gun while on his phone before Beavercreek Police Officer Sean Williams shot him dead.
Despite all of this, Williams will not be charged with any federal crimes or civil rights violations, according to Huffington Post.
“This investigation revealed that the evidence is insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Officer Williams violated federal civil rights laws,” the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District Ohio said in a statement. The offices “will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Officer Williams.”
“The government would be required both to disprove his (Williams’) stated reason for the shooting — that he was in fear of death or serious bodily injury — and to affirmatively establish that Officer Williams instead acted with the specific intent to violate Mr. Crawford’s rights,” they continued.
This is another example of how fear is an undeniable defense when it comes to shooting (usually unarmed) Black people.
Crawford’s family has been notified of the Justice Department’s decision.
“The family is very upset. They’re still grieving,” said Michael Wright, the family’s attorney. . “And now it appears there’s no recourse and that nothing will be done through the criminal justice system. It’s almost like these guys are getting away with murder.”