On August 5, 2014 John Crawford III was shopping in a Beavercreek Walmart in the Dayton, Ohio area. He picked up an BB/pellet gun that looked very much like a real AR-15. He was observed waving the gun around by other shoppers who called 9-1-1. The caller told the dispatcher that a shopper was carrying an assault rifle in the store. When the dispatcher asked if he was pointing it at people, the caller said yes that the gunman was aiming his assault weapon at other shoppers.
Beavercreek police officers responded and found Crawford in the store still waving the gun around. They ordered him twice to put the gun down but Crawford disobeyed both orders. When Crawford turned to face the officers, still holding the gun and pointing it at them, they shot and killed him.
A number of customers in the store ran in fear. One lady who had a heart condition suffered a fatal heart attack as she fled in fear of her life.
To no surprise, the NAACP and Department of Justice, then headed by one of Americas top racists, Eric Holder, got involved but the evidence overwhelmingly showed that Crawford was in the wrong by refusing to comply with the instructions of the peace officers. The confrontation between law enforcement and Crawford was caught on store surveillance cameras and help exonerate the two law enforcement officers.
However, Crawford was black and the officers were white so despite 15 eye witness accounts and video evidence, Crawford’s family and many other blacks are still screaming for justice. The say that the law enforcement officers should have realized the gun was a toy air rifle and therefore had no reason to shot Crawford other than his being black.
Since the two law enforcement officers were cleared of any wrong doing, the black community turned their vengeance upon Ronald Ritchie, the man who made the 9-1-1 call about Crawford.
Now a judge has ruled that there is probable cause to charge Ritchie with making a false alarm 9-1-1 call. Supposedly, the judge ruled that when Ritchie’s 9-1-1 call was synced with the store video, that there were some inaccuracies. Whether Ritchie will face charges of making a false alarm 9-1-1 call is up to local prosecutors.
What the judge failed to take into consideration is that other shoppers were also frightened by Crawford waving the gun around and that fear was responsible for the death of woman fleeing the store. The judge also failed to consider that rarely do eyewitness accounts accurately match actual events. I’ve seen a number of examples where a number of people witnessed a vehicular accident or crime and rarely does every account agree with each other. Ritchie was most likely frightened and under the influence of the adrenaline being pumped into his system.
We are always urged to call 9-1-1 whenever we witness anything wrong or a crime, but if Ritchie is charged with a crime, the message being sent is that you should think twice before calling 9-1-1 to report a crime in progress. If your call doesn’t match 100% with the evidence, you too could find yourself being charged with making a false alarm 9-1-1 call. I know it will make me hesitate to call.