911 caller in fatal police shooting of John Crawford could be prosecuted

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A 911 caller in Ohio might be prosecuted for making a false report when he called in a report of a man carrying a gun in a Wal-Mart store.

In August 2014, police shot and killed John Crawford III. after the caller, Ronald Ritchie, reported that Crawford had been pointing a gun at people inside the store, including at two children.

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Except surveillance video showed something entirely different.

The weapon was later determined to be an air rifle. Ritchie’s reports that Crawford was pointing the gun at people were disproved when audio of the call was compared to video from inside the store.

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Crawford had picked the gun up from one of the shelves in the store and was shot by police after he did not respond to police commands to drop the rifle and turned toward them “in an aggressive manner,” police said.

On March 25, ten people filed affidavits stating that Ritchie had “created the incident that resulted in the death of not only John Crawford but another shopper by the name of Angela Williams.”

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Fairborn Municipal Court Judge Beth Root found that there was probable cause not only to bring a case against Ritchie for making a false report but also for inciting violence, inducing panic, involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.