Crawford family to join DC protest march

The parents of John Crawford III will be among those heading to Washington, D.C., on Saturday to participate in a march arising from the recent incidents of police-involved fatalities involving black men.

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“The Justice For All March against Police Violence,” as it is being called by organizers, scheduled to occur at noon, will be at Freedom Plaza.

John Crawford Jr. and Tressa Sherrod will join the families of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin “to stand together and shine a national spotlight on those impacted by police misconduct and unnecessary deadly force,” Tiffany Cochran Edwards, communications director for the Cochran Firm in Atlanta, said in a statement released late Thursday afternoon.

The Cochran firm represents the Crawford family. The march is being organized in conjunction with The National Action Network, led by civil rights leader and MSNBC show host the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“We believe it’s imperative for the Crawford family to be a vital part of this national conversation on police misconduct. Ever since the tragic loss of their son, John H. Crawford, lll, this past summer, John and Tressa have been committed to making sure this type of injustice never happens to another family. Being in Washington, D.C., this weekend is a step toward that goal,” family attorney Michael Wright said in a prepared statement.

John Crawford lll, 22, of Fairfield in Butler County, was shot to death Aug. 5 by Beavercreek police Officer Sean Williams at the Beavercreek Walmart.

Crawford was holding an air rifle he had picked up off a store shelf when he was shot. Williams and another officer had gone into the store on what was dispatched by police as a 911 call about a man waving a rifle. The weapon was an air rifle sold at the store.

A customer, Angela Williams, also died that night. She suffered cardiac arrest as a consequence of heart disease. The manner of her death was officially listed as homicide because of the chaotic circumstances in the store that night, according to the Greene County Coroner’s Office.

Crawford’s death occurred four days before Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed. Wilson has since resigned from the police department.

Grand juries in Greene County and in Missouri declined to return indictments in those shootings. The Justice Department is continuing its federal civil rights investigation into both incidents.

These are the other deaths marchers will be protesting in Washington on Saturday:

  • Tamir Rice, 12, was shot Nov. 22 in Cleveland by police Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired twice within two seconds of arriving on scene. Police were responding to a dispatch describing a "young black male" brandishing a gun at people in the park. The gun was an Airsoft replica. Tamir died a day after he was shot.
  • Akai Gurley, 26, of Brooklyn,was shot to death Nov. 20 in a darkened stairway by a rookie NYPD officer who said his gun discharged accidentally.
  • Eric Garner, 43, of Staten Island, died July 17 after a New York City police officer applied a chokehold to the man. A grand jury on Dec. 3 declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
  • Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death Feb. 26, 2012, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Fla. A jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder and manslaughter in July 2013.