Most people reading this probably assume I’m talking about #Ferguson. Instead, I have something in mind a bit closer to home: the events that occurred on August 5 at the Beavercreek, OH Walmart. If you are unaware of this case, you should be. I don’t know what happened in the store on August 5, but I do know that one document important to the case has been withheld from the public.
Why hasn’t the incident report been released? Both Crawford’s family/family’s lawyer and the Dayton Daily News have requested the incident report. According to this new article, they’ve only received one line:
“Dispatched to Walmart for a disturbance/weapons complaint.”
The incident report is a public record and should be released immediately. Ohio has liberal public records’ law, which is a good thing in my humble opinion.
Of course, for those not interested in the incident report, there’s a lot of other material to consider. Audio and video have been released, and for those interested in the case, I encourage you to consider this material.
As someone who thinks a lot about incident report writing – and the ways that these documents are used by multiple audiences – I’m concerned that this document has not been released. Is that one line all that was written as part of the incident report?
Now I understand that when there is an officer-involved shooting, a chain of events occurs. Departments have policies about this, and I’d be curious to read Beavercreek’s policy manual. For the sake of comparison, check out the San Jose PD’s policy. Why did I pick this city? Because it was readily accessible through a Google search. Sorry, I wish it was a more academic or scholarly reason.
I hope that if you’re interested in Ferguson, you’re interested in Beavercreek, especially if it’s geographically closer to you than Missouri. As I wrote earlier, I don’t know what happened on August 5, but I do know that the incident report is an important document that should be released in its entirety.