DAYTON, Ohio — The attorney for the family of a man fatally shot by police at a Wal-Mart store is scheduled to meet with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the end of this month, two years after the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the shooting.
Attorney Michael Wright, who represents the family of John Crawford III in a federal wrongful-death lawsuit delayed by the department’s investigation, told the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/2ctqeKm) he is meeting with Lynch on Sept. 30.
“We would hope that they would give us a little insight with regards to the investigation on why it’s taking so long,” Wright said Thursday.
Department of Justice officials didn’t immediately return calls for comment Friday.
Officers went to the Beavercreek Wal-Mart on Aug. 5, 2014, after a man called 911 to report, in a recorded call, that someone was walking around waving an apparent rifle and “pointing it at people.” Police said they believed Crawford had a real weapon and didn’t respond to commands to put it down. Crawford had an air rifle from a store shelf.
Officer Sean Williams, who shot Crawford, was cleared by a Greene County special grand jury a month after the shooting.
Wright had sent a letter to Lynch in July asking the Department of Justice to wrap up its investigation by the end of August.
“We want the investigation to either move forward or to stop,” Wright said. “Because at this point, it is preventing us from doing anything in this case.”
Wright wants to depose Williams and another officer, but a federal judge has allowed the officers to avoid that process because of the Department of Justice investigation.
“I don’t know who’s not doing what, but something has to be done,” Wright said. “Something has to be done to prevent the types of killings that we are seeing day in and day out in this country.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com