September 24, 2014

The tragic case of John Crawford's shooting at the hands of police officers responding to a 911 call where the caller was lying about what was happening just got more tragic.

The grand jury investigating the shooting voted not to indict anyone, which is just incredible, but also predictable. If the prosecutor wanted an indictment, there would be an indictment.

Fun fact: Prosecutors need police and vice versa, so there is a conflict of interest whenever a police shooting is involved.

This young man was shot by police because of a deranged 911 caller who just lied and lied and lied on the call. Later the caller, John Ritchie, admitted he did not tell the truth.

In the call, 24-year-old Ronald Ritchie described a black man walking around the store with the weapon, telling the 911 operator, “He’s, like, pointing it at people.”

The ‘gun’ that Crawford was allegedly pointing turned out later to be a BB gun sold in the Walmart. Speaking to reporters after police showed up and shot Crawford dead, Ritchie repeated the allegation that Crawford, “was pointing at people. Children walking by.”

Ritchie also told the 911 operator that he saw Crawford loading bullets into the supposed weapon, which clearly would have been impossible given that the toy was not a real gun.

But now Ritchie is telling a very different story. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper Sunday, Ritchie said that “at no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody.”

Ritchie continued to maintain that Crawford was “waving (the gun) around.” But an attorney for Crawford’s family who has seen Walmart surveillance video of the incident and the minutes leading up to the shooting says the video shows nothing of the kind.

There is a little bit of good news here. The DOJ is investigating this shooting now, and perhaps there could be federal charges.

But it begs the question: Is every police shooting going to have to become a federal case? Is there no time when the evidence is right there in front of people that they will actually return an indictment?

Darren Wilson is still at large, just like the cop that shot John Crawford. But John Crawford and Mike Brown are dead, buried in graves where their families can go to mourn.

There is nothing right or just about that.

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