Beavercreek chief: ‘We just need to take a step back’

Dennis Evers, the Beavercreek police chief whose department has faced protests after a deadly officer-involved shooting, said the ambush of Dallas officers was cowardly and has to stop.

Five officers died, and seven others were wounded in Dallas, on Thursday night.

On Friday, Evers said, “The violence has to stop. And I think that we need to just take a step back – everyone.”

The Beavercreek chief added, “This community has been very supportive of this department and remains supportive.”

In August 2014, Beavercreek officer Sean Williams shot and killed John Crawford II, 22, of Fairfield, as Crawford was shopping in the Walmart store. Crawford had an unboxed air rifle in his hand as he talked on a cell phone.

Williams was not charged after a special prosecutor presented the case to a grand jury. The U.S. Department of Justice started its own review of the case, which remains open, and Crawford’s family has filed a civil suit that is pending.

“We’re as frustrated with the lack of closure in this situation as I’m sure certain members of the public and the family are. But that’s beyond our control. But again, as we see these other events happen around the country, I think we need to let the processes that are in place” play out.

The Dallas shootings followed a protest there of officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.

“The police involved shootings I understand – just as in our situation – people have questions and they have concerns. But they can’t translate into violent reactions,” Evers said. “We need to allow the processes to play out and investigations take place. Certainly we’re still waiting two years later for resolutions to the case here.”

Evers called the Dallas attacks “very senseless, tragic acts of violence. Cowardly acts of violence.”

The chief added, “Officers that were out there protecting the public’s right to protest and free speech were ambushed and shot down. It’s unfathomable that these events are taking place in our country.”

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