Today marked the second National Day of Protest For John Crawford. Over a dozen cities all over the United States turned out to protest in front of their local Walmart stores, in support of the young man who was gunned down by police after he took a toy BB gun off of a Walmart shelf.
Many who did not attend the protests have asked or wondered “why are you doing these protests at Walmart?”
“After all,” they say, “it wasn’t Walmart’s fault that the Beavercreek police killed John Crawford.”
Yes and no.
Protesters associated with the #Action4JohnCrawford protests say that Walmart store security has colluded with the Beavercreek police from day one. They have covered up everything for the police, and concealed evidence, all to help the police get their story together and to allow public anger to dissipate, at the police department’s request.
While the public demanded that they “Release the Tape,” Walmart did as the police asked and concealed it. They have already admitted, as well, that their store security was on their way to tell John Crawford to leave the store when he was shot. But what for? For having done nothing other than picked up an item off of the store shelves. Why? Clearly the did not think he was a threat or they would have called the police themselves, like 911-caller Ronald Ritchie did.
Add to all of this the history and background of the City of Beavercreek and its long history of racism. The Supreme Court had to force the city to allow buses from downtown Dayton to make stops in Beavercreek. Bussing, the city feared, would allow primarily African Americans and poor people of other backgrounds as well, to come into the upper middle class suburb, and shop at places like Walmart, and the Fairfield Commons mall, just across the street from where John Crawford was killed.
All of these things combined have demonstrated to protesters that Walmart is the most appropriate location for John Crawford protests. But on Sunday, at the protest for John Crawford at the Beavercreek Walmart, the management and corporate security for the store, demonstrated even further why Walmart is “ground zero” for protests against police brutality and the shooting of John Crawford.
The store management and security demonstrated that they stand on the side of police brutality after they called the police on a woman at the protest and tried to have her arrested even though she had broken no law whatsoever.
The incident had protesters saying, “Walmart just proved they are on the side of police brutality.”
Watch the interview with that woman in the video below…
Some protesters had asked to see the spot where John Crawford was killed, to pay their respects to the man. One protesters offered to show them the spot in the store’s pet food aisle.
The woman who was detained had carried no sign with her, and did not say a word of protest as she entered the store. She had never been told not to come to the store, and she herself is a Beavercreek resident.
She did not film inside of the store, or in any way violate a single store policy. But that didn’t stop the store security from telling her to leave the store.
She did leave the store, and so did the protesters who had come in with her. But even though she complied – thus making it clear that she was not trespassing – the store called the police on her and demanded that she be arrested.
Police officers from the Beavercreek Police Department tried to arrest her, but they had too many cameras on them, documenting what would have been a false arrest. Stay tuned for more footage of that near-arrest and in the meantime help us spread the word as to “Why Walmart?”
Watch some of the protesters discussing with her after she was released…
(Article by M. David)