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Family sues over fatal shooting at Ohio Walmart

John Crawford III, shown with his mother, was fatally shot as he held an air rifle inside a Walmart.Crawford Family Photo

CINCINNATI — The family of a black man fatally shot by a white police officer as he held an air rifle inside a Walmart filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday charging negligence and violation of the man’s civil rights.

The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Dayton against the city of Beavercreek, the two Beavercreek officers involved, the police chief, and Walmart Stores Inc.

John Crawford III was shot Aug. 5 inside the store in the Dayton suburb. Police responded after a 911 caller reported Crawford was waving what appeared to be a firearm.

A grand jury concluded the shooting was justified.


‘‘All we want is justice for John Crawford,’’ the family’s attorney, Michael Wright said at a news conference Tuesday.

Crawford’s death also has drawn demonstrations from protesters criticizing the shootings of young black men by police around the country.

Wright said the criminal justice system has so far refused to hold the officers accountable and that it is necessary for the civil justice system to do so. He said Crawford was just shopping and talking on his cellphone when he was shot.

The police officer who fatally shot 22-year-old Crawford said the man didn’t respond to commands to drop the weapon and turned toward officers in an aggressive manner.

Associated Press