John Crawford III, a 22-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police inside an Ohio Walmart after another shopper reported Crawford was "walking around with a gun in the store." The alleged gun, which the witness described in a 911 call as a black rifle, and later said he thought was an AR-15, turned out to be a BB rifle from one of the store's shelves.
Ritchie, to the dispatcher: "He's, like, pointing it at people." He also said in the call that Crawford was trying to load the gun, causing 911 to tell officers, "he just put some bullets inside."
Well, that's certainly a different story. What changed during the past month?
Ritchie says he was allowed to view the sealed security video, recently shown to Crawford's family and their attorneys, that reportedly shows Crawford never lifted the BB gun and was on the phone and standing still when officers shot and killed him.
That doesn't sit well with Crawford's family's lawyer, Michael Wright, who has filed a formal complaint with the State's Attorney, saying the witness shouldn't have seen the footage.
"That is very improper," he said, adding that Ritchie's statement should be based purely on his memory of the incident.
Ritchie, initially described as an "ex-marine" in news reports, also cleared up that point in the Guardian interview: He was thrown out of the Corps after seven weeks for "fraudulent enlistment." He says it was due to paperwork mix-up.
Dicier still, Ritchie told the Guardian that he also learned Crawford had previously been charged with a crime, although those charges were later dropped. Reps for State's Attorney Mike DeWine repeatedly no-commented the Guardian when asked whether Ritchie got that information from their office.
Crawford's family continues to advocate the public release of the video, which his father says shows the killing was "an execution."