mike-dewine

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Planned Parenthood fights back in Ohio

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine became the most recent conservative politician to target Planned Parenthood, accusing them of violating a state code and “inhumane” activity. In response, the organization filed a lawsuit and blocked Ohio from taking legal action. This new conflict is over the disposal of fetal tissue.

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When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat. “He’s, like, pointing it at people,

Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters:

“He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”

One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian.

He maintained that Crawford was “waving it around”, which attorneys for Crawford’s family deny.

Ritchie told several reporters after the 5 August shooting that he was an “ex-marine”. When confronted with his seven-week service record, however, he confirmed that he had been quickly thrown out of the US marine corps in 2008 after being declared a “fraudulent enlistment”, over what he maintains was simply a mixup over his paperwork.

Crawford, 22, turned out to be holding an unloaded BB air rifle that he had picked up from a store shelf. After Ritchie said Crawford appeared to be “trying to load” the gun, the 911 dispatcher relayed to an officer that it was believed the gunman “just put some bullets inside”.

The Crawfords’ attorneys told the Guardian that they had learned the preliminary findings of an autopsy were that he was shot in the back of his left arm and in his left side, supporting their claim that he was turned away from the police officer who shot him.

They have pleaded with Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, to release the store’s surveillance footage of the shooting to the public. Having viewed it, they say that it disproves Ritchie’s version of what led to the deaths of both Crawford and a 37-year-old woman who collapsed and died in the ensuing panic.

“It was an execution, no doubt about it,” alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. “It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.”

DeWine has said that releasing the footage would be “playing with dynamite” and prevent any trial from being fair

The attorneys said that they would also be lodging a complaint with DeWine after Ritchie told the Guardian that he, too, was shown the surveillance footage by officials in the attorney general’s bureau of criminal investigation, who are investigating the shooting.

From this point, the Crawford team’s description of what is shown in the surveillance footage differs radically from Ritchie’s recollection, which he insisted was also backed up by the recordings from the Walmart cameras.

Crawford’s father and attorneys said that the footage showed the 22-year-old walking from one aisle to the next with the BB rifle at his side and in his left hand, pointed at the floor except for one notable movement.

“I would think that the rifle maybe got heavy to him,” said his father. “He kind of swung it like you carry it on your shoulder, then he immediately put it back down.” “You can clearly see people walk past him, and they didn’t think anything about it.

Everybody was just kind of minding their own business,” his father added. “He wasn’t acting in any type of way that he would have been considered menacing, if you will.

SOURCE

This is beyond troubling. 

change.org
SIGNAL BOOST: U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart: Justice for our son, John Crawford

On August 5, 2014, our lives changed forever. Our unarmed son John Crawford III was killed by police while shopping at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. On this tragic day, John was shopping like any other customer in the store. He was looking at a few items on the shelf, holding a toy BB gun he might buy and talking on his phone with the mother of his two children. Other customers shopped near our son, showing no sign that John was any kind of threat while he shopped. Everything was normal until Officer Sean Williams suddenly began shooting him without any warning. In the video above, you can see this was a heinous and unjustifiable killing.  We fought for months to get Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release that surveillance footage to the public. And while the video shows our unarmed son being ruthlessly killed, Mr. DeWine’s office delayed the grand jury and then presented a half-hearted case against Officer Williams. So we were not surprised that the grand jury declined to bring charges against Williams, the reckless and dangerous officer who was also involved in a 2010 fatal shooting for which he was never prosecuted.  We may be delayed, but we won’t be denied. We won’t stop until we receive justice for our son. The US Justice Department is currently conducting a civil rights investigation into John’s case. We believe that the video footage clearly demonstrates that it is time for the federal prosecutor to bring charges against Officer Williams.  This may be our last chance to do so, and we need your help as we seek justice for our son.   Please sign our new petition demanding that U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart bring justice to John and our family. We are grateful for your continued support.

On August 5, 2014, our lives changed forever. Our unarmed son John Crawford III was killed by police while shopping at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. On this tragic day, John was shopping like any other customer in the store. He was looking at a few items on the shelf, holding a toy BB gun he might buy and talking on his phone with the mother of his two children. Other customers shopped near our son, showing no sign that John was any kind of threat while he shopped. Everything was normal until Officer Sean Williams suddenly began shooting him without any warning. In the video above, you can see this was a heinous and unjustifiable killing. 

We fought for months to get Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release that surveillance footage to the public. And while the video shows our unarmed son being ruthlessly killed, Mr. DeWine’s office delayed the grand jury and then presented a half-hearted case against Officer Williams. So we were not surprised that the grand jury declined to bring charges against Williams, the reckless and dangerous officer who was also involved in a 2010 fatal shooting for which he was never prosecuted. 

We may be delayed, but we won’t be denied. We won’t stop until we receive justice for our son. The US Justice Department is currently conducting a civil rights investigation into John’s case. We believe that the video footage clearly demonstrates that it is time for the federal prosecutor to bring charges against Officer Williams. 

This may be our last chance to do so, and we need your help as we seek justice for our son. Please sign our new petition demanding that U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart bring justice to John and our family. We are grateful for your continued support.

Sign the Crawford family’s petition at Change.org at the link above.