DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A group has been quietly rallying support online following the deadly officer-involved shooting inside the Beavercreek Walmart on Aug. 5.
It is a Facebook page called, I Support the Beavercreek Police Department. Mike Crain started the page. He is a police chaplain for Butler Township and Huber Heights. It has about 2,500 likes.
“I didn’t see the support for the police department, which really isn’t uncommon,” he said. “So, I just felt like that voice needed to be heard. It was really directed toward them to say, ‘hey, there are lots of people out there who support what you do and are thankful for it every day.'”
Crain said it is not about picking sides, it’s about recognizing and respecting the job of our first responders.
“A lot of people don’t see that side of police,” he said. “They don’t see the impact it has on them as individuals to have to take these actions.”
Police say they shot John Crawford III after he failed to drop a weapon, which was a pellet rifle he apparently picked up off the store shelf. Angela Williams, a mother and soon-to-be bride, died of a medical condition during the incident.
Crawford’s legal team and family say he was doing nothing wrong when he was shot and killed. A special grand jury in Greene County will convene Sept. 22 to hear the facts and determine if a crime was committed.
At a rally Wednesday, protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in downtown Dayton, demanding the investigation be handed over to the federal government. A request also made by Crawford’s attorney and family on Tuesday.
“We want to make sure that there’s a transparent investigation and we do not trust the Ohio Attorney General’s office despite the fact that a special prosecutor has now been named,” said Jerome Mccorry, community organizer.
The group “I Support the Beaverceek Police Department” will hold a rally to show support for the department at 4 p.m. Sunday, outside the Beavercreek Walmart. Crain is calling for things to remain peaceful and respectful.