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Dec 16, 2014 1:25 PM

Family files lawsuit over fatal shooting at Ohio Wal-Mart

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) The family of a black man fatally shot by a white police officer as he held an air rifle inside a Wal-Mart filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday charging negligence and violation of the man's civil rights.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Dayton against the city of Beavercreek in suburban Dayton, the two Beavercreek officers involved, the police chief and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

John Crawford III was shot Aug. 5 inside the store in the Dayton suburb. Police responded after a 911 caller reported Crawford was waving what appeared to be a firearm.

A grand jury concluded the shooting was justified.

"All we want is justice for John Crawford," the family's attorney, Michael Wright said at a news conference Tuesday.

Crawford's family has said previously that it was "incomprehensible" that police weren't indicted.

Wright said the criminal justice system has so far refused to hold the officers accountable and it is necessary for the civil justice system to do so.

Messages left seeking comment from Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart and Beavercreek city attorney Steve McHugh, who has served as a spokesman for the city and police, were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit charges that all the parties were guilty of negligence and that the officers were guilty of recklessness and depriving Crawford of his constitutional rights, including the right to be free of unreasonable seizures and excessive use of force. The lawsuit also alleges that Wal-Mart was negligent in the placement of guns at its store and for failing to secure the air rifle.

The lawsuit seeks at damages of at least $75,000, but that amount could change as the case proceeds, the attorneys said.


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