Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Let's not go to the videotape

Remember ladies and gentlemen, If you are a prominent person, admitted domestic abuse only goes so far...without the videotape. And God forbid you are not a prominent person, and especially a non-prominent person of color -- because then you cannot ever see the videotape...unless the guy who got you killed gets to interpret it for you.
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.
And there's a videotape...but TMZ is not on the case.
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”
Guess who DOES get to play with dynamite?
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. “That is very improper,” said attorney Michael Wright, who said that Ritchie’s statement on what happened should have been based only on what he remembered seeing. Ritchie said that he had also become aware of past criminal allegations against Crawford, which were dropped. He declined to say if he had learned this from DeWine’s officials. Asked four times by the Guardian whether they had told the witness about Crawford’s court record, a spokesman for DeWine declined to comment.
Under any reasonable standards, Mr. Ritchie should at a minimum be ashamed of playing the part in getting an innocent man murdered. But this is Mike DeWine's Ohio, and the Ferguson Playbook is in full-effect. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]


donnah said...

I live in Dayton, very close to the Walmart. It's in a mostly white suburb, about 88% white population. The people of Beavercreek have repeatedly protested and voted against letting the RTA bus system run into their area by the mall where the Walmart is because they don't want "those people" and "the criminal element" to have access to their community.

I've no doubt that Crawford was carrying the BB gun around. I doubt that he was threatening anyone with it, and because he was on the phone with his girlfriend, I doubt that he even heard or saw the police approach.

The overeager police, who probably had never seen a black person until then, just overreacted. The shooting just can't be defended, and that's why the video hasn't been shown. Crawford was saying, "It's not real!" to the cops when they gunned him down.

People here are divided, as you might expect, between the "he shouldn't have picked up a gun at all" and "why didn't he drop it when they told him to" versus the community of those of us who think this murder smells to high heaven and believe anyone has a right to walk into a store without being targeted and murdered whether you're black or white.

There have been two scheduled protests, both peaceful; one in support of Crawford and one in support of the police. Dayton's not the kind of place where massive riots will take place, at least I hope it isn't. But I have a very strong feeling that Crawford was gunned down in panic and the Powers that Be have been scrambling like mad to cover it up.

Anonymous said...

SHowing the tape to the witness. Sounds like DeWine is trying to taint the evidence. Which is about what we can expect from him.

pansypoo said...

what class warfare?

be a white male,
don't be female,
don't be poor,
don't be black,
don't be crazy.

Racer X said...

Why isn't Ritchie being charged as an accessory?