Why I Won't Step Back into Walmart: John Crawford & The Mess America Made



“Somebody’s going to have to explain to me how anybody goes into Walmart and ends up dead,” said John Crawford Jr., the dead man’s father.

Walmart's motto is Save Money, Live Better. However, what happens when you go in to do so and are killed in the process?

In what seems to be a compounding issue in the U.S., here we find another case completely reflective of the justice system we so proudly espouse. What we've found is a recent inductee into the pantheon of Black male lives taken by police officers without any form of recompense.

News outlets reported today that the Beaver Creek Ohio Police officer responsible for the slaying of John Crawford (22) would go without indictment by the Ohio Grand Jury. He was originally charged for murder, reckless homicide, and negligent homicide. According to the law enforcement’s version of events, Crawford failed to drop the weapon when ordered, a claim that his lawyers dispute.

Note: this is third time in five years police in this county have fatally shot someone. None have faced charges.

Having seen the surveillance video of Crawford being executed by the Beaver Creek Police officer, I can see why it was withheld for so long. It was completely nonsensical. I was left with questions:

  1. How does one deserve this?
  2. Where was the miscommunication?
  3. Isn't Ohio an Open carry state?
  4. Could this happen at my Walmart?

After this ordeal, I’ve come to the conclusion that the U.S. is a lot like Walmart. While it’s one of the leaders in bargains and products, its aisles are in desperate need of repair.

Walmart, like the U.S, doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to race and class. They both have a history of cluttered aisles, disheveled shelves, and an inordinate amount of aisle spills. In this case, it’s John Crawford’s blood that has been spilled and left for us to mop up.

If we want to see any change in this Walmart that we live in we must require more from those who work for it. Moreover, those who continue to let these spills happen while they are on the clock create even more of an issue. They enable other people to refuse to acknowledge that the messes we've all been stepping over for generations.