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25 Sep, 2014 05:26

Ohio cops killed Walmart air gun-wielding man moments after confrontation, new video shows

Ohio cops killed Walmart air gun-wielding man moments after confrontation, new video shows

Recently released surveillance video showing the fatal Walmart shooting of a black man carrying an air gun – which he picked up in the same store – seems to contradict police accounts, after a grand jury decided not to indict the officers.

John Crawford III, 22, was shot and killed by police officers after they received a 911 call on August 5 that a man was carrying a rifle in the BeaverCreek Walmart, Ohio, and allegedly waving it at store customers.

Police said in their report that Crawford ignored their numerous orders to drop the rifle before he was shot. However, the video, obtained by the Xenia Daily Gazette, shows Crawford being fired upon mere seconds after police encounter him.

The video shows Crawford walking to the sporting goods section, apparently talking on his phone, and picking up what looks like an assault rifle. In fact it was an air rifle that had been left unboxed on a shelf. He then continues walking around the store – sometimes carrying the gun over his shoulder, sometimes pointed at the ground – before police arrive and shoot him dead.

The video was released as the grand jury decided not to indict the two officers involved and said “they were justified in their actions.”

READ MORE: California police caught on camera fatally shooting man (VIDEO)

The Crawford family said they were “disgusted” by the grand jury decision to not file charges against the two officers involved in the shooting.

The August 5 incident triggered protests from residents and family members demanding the video be released. Crawford is black, and the two officers involved in the fatal shooting are white. Crawford's family asked for a federal investigation to determine if race was a factor.

READ MORE: Local police kill at least 400 people a year, mostly minorities

The Justice Department said Wednesday it would “conduct an independent review of the facts and circumstances” around Crawford’s death to see if there were any civil rights violations. The review will be conducted by the department’s civil rights division, the US attorney’s office and the FBI.