Race dominated the coverage of the 2014 shooting of John Crawford. Crawford was a young black man gunned down by white cops in a Beaverton Creek, Ohio, Walmart as he talked to his girlfriend on the phone while absentmindedly holding a BB gun he had grabbed from a store shelf. Ohio is an “open-carry” state where it’s perfectly legal to walk around with a loaded AR-15.
What got less attention is that less than two weeks before the shooting, the officer who shot Crawford had been trained to respond to “active shooter situations” by shooting first and asking questions later.
According to The Guardian, officer Sean Williams and his colleagues were “taught to keep in mind that ‘the suspect wants a body count’ and therefore officers should immediately engage a would-be gunman with ‘speed, surprise and aggressiveness.’” At that training, they were told to imagine that a crazed gunman was threatening their own relatives.