Walmart was the scene of the police shooting of John Crawford III, back in 2014. Even though Crawford was only holding a BB-gun from off the shelf of the Beavercreek, Ohio store, police officers rushed him and fatally shot him in the pet food aisle, while he was talking on his cell phone.
Ohio is an open carry state, and nothing John Crawford was doing was illegal.
Even if the gun had been a real Bushmaster ACR, and not an air rifle replica, neither Walmart, nor Walmart shoppers would have had any grounds to call the police on him. Now, Walmart has a plan to change all of that – in Texas at least.
As of January 1, 2016, Texas’ open carry law went into effect for handguns. Walmart has thus implemented a new policy that would allow them to check whether someone had a valid concealed handgun license. Under Texas law, they would still have no grounds to ask this question for the open carry of rifles – leading many to see this as a bizarre and pointless policy, emanating from the pending civil suit against Walmart for the Crawford slaying.
Stores like Starbucks and Target have requested customers who are not police officers, to not bring weapons into their stores. But these have been nothing more than polite requests from the corporations – not outright bans.
The fact that Walmart would take this unprecedented step seems to indicate their intentions to demonize the legal actions of John Crawford in their store – for the purpose of defending themselves from the Crawford family civil suit.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, police accountability activists continue to protest in front of the store and in front of the Beavercreek Police Department – open carrying real guns and BB-guns to make the point that what John Crawford was killed for was completely legal.
(Article by M. David)