BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Demonstrators gathered outside the Beavercreek Walmart Monday as protests grow in response to George Floyd’s death. Some protested the killing of John Crawford III, who was shot and killed inside the Walmart in August of 2014.
City officials implemented a curfew that will be in effect from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Tuesday. Curfew boundaries include The Mall at Fairfield Commons retail district area and The Greene off of Indian Ripple Road.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds shortly after 4:30 pm when protesters were blocking the road near North Fairfield Road and Pentagon Boulevard in Beavercreek. Protesters moved to the sidewalk and roadside for a while but moved back into the street around 5:00 pm and police deployed tear gas again.
The tone of the event shifted as a Beavercreek officer approached the crowd and took a knee, an act that was met with cheers from protesters who shortly beforehand could be heard chanting, “I don’t see a riot here, why are you wearing riot gear?” Officers communicated to the demonstrators that they did not want to have to wear their gas masks and asked participants to stay off the street, while making it clear the group could protest for as long as they wished.
A short time later, a handful of Beavercreek officers stood in the street and removed their riot gear, setting aside their helmets, gas masks, and shields. A protester emerged from the crowd and took a knee in the street. After a few moments, more officers take a knee in solidarity.
At some point during the protest, an object was thrown through a shop window at Helzberg Diamonds. The window has since been boarded up.
In August of 2014, officers say John Crawford III was seen holding a BB gun inside the Beavercreek Walmart and someone called 911, mistaking it for a real firearm.
A few weeks ago, the attorney for Crawford’s family announced that the City of Beavercreek reached a settlement with the family in the amount of $1.7 million.
The family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Walmart.
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