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Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 11:38 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 @ 9:25 AM
DAYTON — The parents of John Crawford III are “hopeful, optimistic,” following their meeting Tuesday with new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the family attorney said.
Michael Wright told News Center 7’s Layron Livingston on Tuesday night that the meeting in Cincinnati lasted about a half-hour. She was in the Queen City as part of a national tour highlighting “collaborative programs and innovative policing practices.”
John Crawford III, who was black, was shot and killed by Beavercreek police Officer Sean Williams, who is white, in the Beavercreek Walmart store the night of Aug. 5, 2014. Police had been called to the store on a report of a man with a gun.
Crawford was on his cell phone, walking around and carrying a BB/pellet air rifle he picked up off a store shelf, when he was shot.
“I believe that the attorney general of the United States recognized that this is a significant case, and I believe that’s why she met with the family,” Wright said.
Cincinnati’s Collaborative Agreement is often looked to as a model for how police departments should work with the communities they serve. It was forged in the wake of the police shooting death of Timothy Thomas in spring 2001. That shooting led to rioting.
There have been several deadly encounters of late involving white police officers and black males, including in Ferguson, Mo., North Charleston, S.C., and Baltimore, Md.
The Crawford case and the civil rights complaint against the Beavercreek Police Department is still under the review of the Justice Department.
“Comparing that to a lot of these other cases that are going on in the country, John’s case, somewhat, stands by itself…,” Wright said. “And as everyone knows … and everyone saw the video - John was doing absolutely nothing wrong….”