Conspiracy Theorist

Predictable injustice in Beavercreek

By Mark Luedtke

Before assigning blame for the shooting of John Crawford in Beavercreek Wal-Mart, we must acknowledge the fundamental fact of the situation: Crawford didn’t threaten anybody. Not shoppers. Not police. He had neither the ability nor the inclination. He was carrying a toy rifle in one hand while talking on a phone in the other when Beavercreek police shot him dead. The failure of this non-threatening man to drop his toy gun as illegally ordered cannot justify murdering him.

How government enforcers killed Crawford and covered it up from the beginning illustrates why it’s more accurate to call our justice system an injustice system.

It started with a man calling 911. I watched the Wal-Mart surveillance video synced with the 911 call, and the discrepancies between what the caller reports, what the police reported and what’s seen on the video are outrageous. The caller stated Crawford was waving a rifle around, loaded it and pointed it at people, including children. None of that happened. The only people near Crawford, a mother with two children shopping near Crawford, seemed unconcerned and Crawford ignored them. It’s also striking the caller, although shopping with his wife, never seemed threatened. He calmly watched Crawford while setting him up to be killed.

The video showed no problem whatsoever until police, from off-camera, shot Crawford out of the blue. Crawford threatened nobody. After shooting Crawford, cops incited a panic, stampeding everybody out of the store even though Crawford had been neutralized, apparently killing Angela Williams as a result. This began the cover-up.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine continued the cover-up by withholding this video from the public. Had the video benefitted government’s killer, DeWine would have published it far and wide. It would have run on TV every day.

We can only speculate about the grand jury because grand juries are secret to protect the government, but there’s a common saying that prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich. That illustrates the tremendous, manipulative power prosecutors have over grand juries based on what evidence they present, what they don’t and how they present it. Maybe a new saying should explain prosecutors can prevent murderers from being indicted, too.

The Beavercreek Police Department even admitted wrong-doing, but they won’t see it that way. The Dayton Daily News reported their press release stated in part, “Based on the information the responding officers had and Mr. Crawford’s failure to comply with the responding officers’ orders, the officers did what they were trained to do to protect the public.” It’s universally illegitimate to use training or orders as an active defense for murder or any aggression. It was illegitimate when the Nazis tried it at Nuremberg. It’s illegitimate now.

It’s also terrifying Beavercreek trains officers to kill non-threatening people carrying toy guns.

Imagine if you had killed Crawford in the same circumstance. Imagine your wife, shopping at Wal-Mart with your child, called to say a man was carrying a rifle and pointing it at people. Being a good husband, you would have told her to get out of Wal-Mart ASAP, then gone there to ensure she got away. But imagine she didn’t leave, so you confronted Crawford while he talked on the phone and carried a toy gun, and shot him dead. Whether you had told him to drop his gun or not, you’d be on your way to prison, and rightfully so. Police, who are trained with firearms and have a license to kill, should be held to at least the same standard as civilians.

But laws are for serfs, not rulers or their enforcers.

Many have claimed race motivated this shooting. Baloney. That distraction from the root problem of coercive policing benefits the killers. These cops would have shot anybody in this situation regardless of race, gender or age. Cops are equal opportunity killers, trigger-happy, because they get rewarded for killing. The killer is immediately rewarded with praise from peers and a paid vacation, called a suspension, but a rose is still a rose by any other name. Eventually, the killer gets promotions and pay-raises for his cowardly act. Firing, let alone prosecution, is unheard of.

Rulers grant enforcers a license to kill and demand serfs die without resistance. This has nothing to do with race. It’s the inevitable product of coercive government, funded by armed robbery and enforced by threatening all the people with guns, all the time.

The biggest part of cover-ups is usually lack of investigation, in this case of the 911 caller. Why did he call 911 when nobody else seemed concerned? Was he just obeying government’s abominable, divisive and deadly “see something, say something” promotion? Why did he say Crawford was pointing the rifle at people when that wasn’t true? If he thought Crawford was a threat, why didn’t he and his wife leave the store? Why didn’t 911 operators advise him to leave the store and notify Wal-Mart security to evacuate the store? Why didn’t cops verify the caller’s claims before shooting? His misinformation cannot justify murder.

The families of the victims got no justice here. I hope they find it elsewhere.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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