Exercising the state’s open-carry laws on firearms, Ohio residents brought their guns to a Walmart store to protest the officer-involved fatal shooting of African-American shopper John Crawford.
About 40 people rallied on Saturday in front of the Beavercreek Walmart to demonstrate against the death of Crawford, 22, who was shot to death by police inside the store on August 5.
Members of the Ohio Open Carry group carried signs which read, “I am John Crawford” and “Serve and Protect, Not Serve and Kill.” They came to show solidarity with the Crawford family, and to protest the policies of the police department.
Some of the demonstrators were openly carrying firearms, including rifles, but were told by organizers not to bring ammunition to the rally. A few of the protesters also walked into Walmart armed, according to local NBC affiliate WDTN.
“We came here armed. We are proponents of open-carry. This case is clearly a case related to open carry. Maybe John Crawford wasn’t carrying a real firearm but he was carrying what seemed to be a real firearm, and the over-reaction of the police in this instance is completely outrageous,” Virgil Vadura told WDTN.
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