BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – A group is gathering to remember John Crawford III near the Beavercreek Walmart where he was shot and killed by police in 2014.
Dozens of people marched around the Walmart parking lot Wednesday, the sixth anniversary of Crawford’s death, as they chanted “Black Lives Matter.”
On August 5, 2014, someone called 911 after seeing Crawford holding a BB gun inside the store, mistaking it for a real weapon. Police arrived and confronted Crawford, shooting him soon after.
The City of Beavercreek reached a settlement with Crawford’s family this year. An attorney for the family says they will receive $1.7 million.
A grand jury did not return any charges against the officers involved in the shooting.
Crawford’s family holds a vigil every year on August 5 outside the Walmart to commemorate his passing. His father John Crawford, Jr. told 2 NEWS the crowd that turned out Wednesday was at least twice the size compared to last year.
“I’m grateful that people are waking up, collectively waking up,” John Crawford, Jr. said. “Because that’s what it’s going to take inevitably to have change.”
Wednesday night’s demonstration comes on the heels of numerous protests across the country for racial justice, including one near the Walmart in June that involved hundreds of people.
“I think there’s like an added pressure now with this resurgence of Black Lives Matter becoming a part of the national conscience really,” said Sarah Bostic, who attended the event.
John Crawford, Jr. said he wants to see people take action beyond Wednesday’s demonstration.
“A lot of that’s got to do with legislation, term limits, things of that nature, so the system can continue to evolve and diversify,” he said.
Crawford’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Walmart. According to Michael Wright, the family’s attorney, the trial is set to begin in November.
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