DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly 50 demonstrators put their opinions about the Beavercreek Walmart shooting on display at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Dayton Wednesday.
The group gathered to deliver a letter to federal authorities asking for the Department of Justice to take over the investigation.
In the letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, they say:
“John Crawford’s family is calling on you and the Department of Justice to take over responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of the police officers who killed John Crawford on August 5 inside the Beavercreek Walmart. his family does not trust the Greene County jurors to be fair and balanced; they do not trust the Ohio Attorney General and the appointed special prosecutor, Mark Piepmeier, to execute a thorough prosecution. And, we the young people of Ohio, share these same concerns and desires with the family.”
“It’s open season on African-American males across the country. And that’s why we’re out here. Who’s son is gonna be next,” asked one reverend.
Organizers say they’re tired of the same narrative for black boys and young men.
And they believe local and state officials can’t provide the justice deserved.
“There is outrage everywhere. We are blessed in this area. We have that kind of leadership that knows how to keep the peace in this area, but we also know how to turn the heat up and make sure folks don’t forget it’s an election year,” said Rev. Jerome McCorry with the Stop the Incarceration Organization.
One protesters who delivered the letter to U.S. Attorney Dwight Keller described her experience to 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé calling on the federal government to intervene.
“First when we walked in, you could tell some of the police officers were a little startled. We had signs on and they kept asking us if we had weapons or anything on us when it was kind of clear we set all of our things down on the metal detector and things,” Tristina Allen said.
Once inside, Allen said other officers were kinder.
2 NEWS called Keller’s office and the Beavercreek Police Department.
Both declined to comment.
We also reached out to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office who say citizens have the right to rally and protest.
And U.S. Attorney General’s office was also contacted, but a spokesperson has yet to respond as of early Wednesday evening.
Despite some recent actions of transparency by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, protesters say they’re certain wrongdoing happened at Walmart.
“He was criminalized and murdered and that’s the truth,” explained Allen.
The death is something protesters say they can’t give up on.
In chants, they sung, “Where if there is no justice, no peace. No justice no peace.”
And organizers say if not justice for the victims of the Walmart shooting, than for the next generation.
“Well, first of all I’m an African-American male you know and I have a son and I have a grandson. It could have been my son, my grandson, my nephew, or my niece. It didn’t matter if it was just John Crawford. John Crawford’s all of our kids, he’s all of our nephews, all of our sons, so this is very important to us,” Tommy Owens Jr. said.
Meanwhile, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office remains in charge of the investigation into what happened the night Crawford was killed inside the store. Mike Dewine announced the special prosecutor during a new conference Tuesday. Dewine says Piepmeier has an extensive record in prosecuting cases involving police officers.
The two police officers involved in the shooting have not been indicted. That is the decision a grand jury must make. The grand jury is scheduled to convene September 22.