Four days before 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, another young black man suffered the same fate at the hands of law enforcement.
John Crawford III, 22, was shot and killed by police on Aug. 5 inside a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio. While it was initially stated that the man was shot after he refused to drop an air rifle he was wielding at customers, relatives of Crawford do not believe that.
They demanded Wal-Mart release the store video that would provide answers about what happened that day and “vindicate Crawford.”
After more than a month into the tragic incident, when a grand jury decided the police officers involved will not face criminal charges, a surveillance video from the Wal-Mart has been released to the public.
While it’s not clear how many times the police shot Crawford, it can be seen that the man wasn't brandishing the Airsoft rifle – a BB gun, essentially – when he was killed.
In addition, the 911 call from a concerned Caucasian customer, described Crawford as "walking around with a gun in the store ... like, pointing it at people,” was proven to be an exaggeration of facts.
The footage clearly shows Crawford walking casually — talking on the phone — with the BB gun that he picked up and un-boxed from the shelves.
While Ronald Ritchie claimed the man pointed the gun at two children, at no no point in the video is the rifle’s pointed at anything — let alone at any person.
After the Wal-Mart video was released, Crawford’s family's issued the following statement:
"The Wal-Mart surveillance video and eyewitnesses prove that the killing of John H. Crawford lll was not justified and was not reasonable. It is undisputed that John Crawford lll was in Wal-Mart as a customer and was not posing a threat to anyone in the store, especially the police officers."
The Department of Justice has said they are going to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting, according to WCPO-TV.