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Press conference continues local ‘Justice for John Crawford’ fight

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About 40 people gathered at the Coretta Scott King Center on the Antioch campus last evening to hear local activist Bomani Moyenda and Rev. Jerome McCorry, of Dayton, respond to the latest development in the aftermath of the 2014 police shooting death of John Crawford III at a Beavercreek Walmart.

The press conference was called after Fairborn Municipal Court Judge Beth Root found probable cause to prosecute a case against Ronald Ritchie, whose 911 call, alleging that Crawford had a gun and was pointing it at people, led to Crawford being shot by Beavercreek police. Yellow Springs resident Moyenda was among 10 private citizens who filed affidavits last month calling for court officials to review the video evidence, which has been released online and synced with Ritchie’s 911 call.

That evidence, Moyenda said at last night’s conference, shows that Crawford was “set up by a pack of lies.”

On Monday, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, Mark Piepmeier, declined to prosecute Ritchie. Piepmeier was the same prosecutor who presented the shooting case against Beavercreek Officer Sean Williams to a Greene County Grand Jury in 2014. The jury did not indict Williams. At that time, Piepmeier referred to Ritchie as someone “trying to be a good citizen, reporting as best he can, what he’s seeing.”

Piepmeier should have recused himself, Moyenda said at last night’s conference.

Rev. McCorry, who works with the national Stop Mass Incarceration Network, said in his remarks that the “political system has proven itself to victimize the Crawford family again and again.” He added that Ohio is becoming “ground zero” for police murders, and that the Stop Mass Incarceration organization is including the Dayton area in its national tour calendar.

Asked what further steps would be taken, Moyenda declined to offer specifics, but said, “We will continue to research avenues to seek justice in this case.”

“We shall not be moved,” he added, referencing an African American spiritual.

Rev. McCorry also vowed to join “hand and hand, arm and arm” with local efforts to seek “justice for John Crawford.”

A more in-depth story will appear in the April 28 issue of the News.


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