One of the officers involved in a fatal shooting of a man holding a toy rifle inside a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio earlier this month was cleared to return to work, the Dayton Daily News reported on Wednesday.
City Attorney Stephen McHugh told the Daily News that Sgt. David Darkow was allowed to resume his duties. Sean Williams, the other officer involved in the shooting of 21-year-old John Crawford. Authorities have not confirmed whether Williams fired the shot that killed Crawford on Aug. 5.
Crawford was killed when the two officers confronted him while he was holding a MK-177 (.177 caliber) BB/Pellet rifle. Another shopper reportedly phoned 911 saying Crawford was trying to load the air rifle and ignoring officers’ orders to drop it.
His girlfriend, LeeCee Johnson, said at the time that she was speaking with him on the phone when the officers approached him.
“The next thing I know, he said, ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting, and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” she was quoted as saying. “I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
Think Progress reported that attorney Michael Wright, who was hired by Crawford’s family, has seen the store’s surveillance camera footage of the shooting and said it proves Crawford was only holding the gun.
“The BB gun was in a down position,” Wright was quoted as saying. “He was kinda using the BB gun as what it looked like was a crutch. He was just leaning on it. And at some point, he raised it up and he was shot and killed. At no point in time was he facing the officers. At no point in time was there any type of suggestive movements or anything like that.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine showed the video to Wright and Crawford’s family following a demonstration by more than 100 people outside his office, but has not released it to the public, citing the ongoing investigation into the fatal encounter. DeWine said a special grand jury will convene on Sept. 3 to see if the officers will be charged.
A grand jury determined in August 2010 that Williams was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed 45-year-old Scott A. Brogli when Brogli charged at him and another officer with a “large kitchen knife.” The two officers were responding to a report that Brogli was abusing his wife. The woman fled the scene before police arrived, but Brogli’s 17-year-old son witnessed the shooting. A toxicology report determined that Brogli’s blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.163, more than twice the state legal limit.