Ohio Detective Berated Girlfriend of Black Man Shot and Killed by Cops
The Ohio attorney general has released a 94-minute video recording of a police interview (part of which can be seen here) with a young woman whose boyfriend, John Crawford III, had just been killed by police. The video was released to The Guardian in response to a public records request.
Crawford, a 22-year-old black man, was shot by police officer Sean Williams on August 5 in an Ohio Wal-Mart after a customer, who later recanted his account, called 911 and reported that Crawford was pointing a loaded gun at customers. Crawford was carrying an air rifle—a BB gun—pointed at the ground, when officers shot him.
Tasha Thomas, who was with Crawford at the Wal-Mart where the police shot him, was taken into custody and questioned for more than 90 minutes before being told that her boyfriend had died. "As a result of his actions, he is gone," the interrogating officer, one Detective Rodney Curd, said.
In the clip from the video posted on The Guardian's site, Curd is aggressive, berating Thomas about whether Crawford had a gun in his possession. He asks her whether she's been drinking, or is on any drugs. "Your eyes are kinda messed up and you seem lethargic," Curd says. Thomas, in tears, swears on the lives of her children, her dead brother, "on everything I have" that she was telling the truth, that she didn't know Crawford had a gun. (He didn't have a gun.) Curd later told investigators he had not been told that Crawford was only carrying an air rifle.
The Guardian also points out that Williams is responsible for the only other fatal police shooting in the town's recent history, in 2010. A grand jury decided not to indict any police officers, although a Justice Department investigation is ongoing.
[Image via The Guardian]