Crawford family attorney: people “want answers”

Rally at the Hamilton County Courthouse in support of Crawford family. (WDTN Photo/Rob Sneed)
Rally at the Hamilton County Courthouse in support of Crawford family. (WDTN Photo/Rob Sneed)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As Baltimore braces for another possible night of unrest, 2 NEWS is looking at what Dayton is doing right.

The “Charm City” officials say people erupted into riots Monday in reaction to the alleged police-involved death of Freddie Gray, 25, whose spine was severed and he later died.

In comparison to Baltimore, some believe the Miami Valley had a relatively peaceful response after the police-involved death of John Crawford III.

2 NEWS asked the lawyer of the Crawford family why the reaction seen in Baltimore was not seen in this community.

Lawyer Michael Wright thinks, “…one of the primary reasons we don’t see what’s happening or didn’t see what’s happening in these other communities is because we kept this primary local. You know, we didn’t have a lot of outside influence and a lot of outside individuals come into our community and kind of dictate how the peaceful protests have happened in this area.”

Wright credits community and city leaders for what some see as a calm aftermath following the death of John Crawford III.

The 22-year-old was shot and killed by Beavercreek Police last August; officers were responding to a 9-1-1 call that Crawford was waving around a gun inside the local Walmart.

It was later learned that it was a B.B gun.

Wright says national attention to this police-involved shooting was slim because it “… was so close to Ferguson so there was a lot of national attention in Ferguson when this situation was going on with Mr. Crawford.”

The attorney and Crawford’s family have since filed a civil suit against the City of Beavercreek, Beavercreek Police Department and the Walmart Corporation.

The litigation is expected to begin in 2017; he says the hope is to bring what they see as justice for his death.

As the Freddie Gray investigation unfolds, the lawyer tells 2 NEWS he understands the outrage and frustration of those there and in the Miami Valley.

“People are angry, you know,” he explained. “They want answers. They don’t like to see this epidemic of, you know, men being killed at the hands of police so I believe that definitely these things can be prevented; however, you have to be very proactive.”

Wright says he believes the law will play a role in changing police policy and helping bridge the gap in police-community relations.

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