“I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed that instead of accepting responsibility,” Crawford family attorney Michael Wright said, “the city of Beavercreek would spend $590,000, to date, defending the bad actions of these officers.”
SECURITY VIDEO shows moments leading up to John Crawford shooting
In 2017, McHugh said “that the two officers involved in the Aug. 5, 2014, incident were acting in accordance with their training,” adding: “While unfortunate, it was necessary for the city to retain outside counsel to defend the city and the officers involved in the civil lawsuit and the ongoing investigation by the Dept. of Justice.”
RELATED: Most of Crawford allegations against Walmart will go to trial
Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams, who shot and killed Crawford on Aug. 5, 2014, has been assigned as a detective for more than a year and a half.
In that time, Williams has earned positive performance reviews — getting all 4s and 5s in several categories on a 1-to-5 scale. Those records also were provided after an open records request.
Crawford, 22, of Fairfield, was shot after lone 911 caller Ronald Ritchie told dispatchers a black man was holding a rifle, appeared to be loading it and waving it near people, including children.
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Crawford was holding a Crosman MK-177 BB/pellet rifle he found unpackaged on a store shelf.
Williams and Sgt. David Darkow responded to Walmart, and Williams fired within seconds of seeing Crawford after officers said they shouted out commands. Surveillance video and evidence showed Crawford was on his cell phone talking to the mother of his two children.
RELATED: Beavercreek’s legal bill in John Crawford III case: $430K and rising
Cost to Beavercreek taxpayers
Beavercreek has paid about $160,000 in legal costs since spring 2017 when this news organization made a similar request.
Through mid-March 2017, the city had spent about $430,000, including about $210,000 to two Washington, D.C. law firms related to the Dept. of Justice review of the case for possible civil rights charges.
The majority of those funds — about $178,000 — were defense for Darkow, the other responding officer who did not fire his weapon.
RELATED: Judge rules most of Crawford suit against Beavercreek can go to trial
After the DOJ announced in July 2017 that it could not prove any charges, the fees have fallen and most money has been spent with two local firms, including the one that employs McHugh.
Of the $160,000 spent since March 2017, nearly half — more than $78,000 — has gone to attorney Neil Freund, a partner at Freund, Freeze & Arnold who bills Beavercreek at $235 per hour.
Freund’s rate is much lower than lawyers at Hogan Lovells, the D.C. firm Beavercreek employed that had five attorneys who billed from $639 to $930 per hour.
RELATED: Crawford attorneys say Beavercreek experts implicate officer in shooting
A portion of the 2017 job performance review for Beavercreek police detective Sean Williams, written by Sgt. Shawn Sumner .
Williams’ work as a detective
Williams became a detective on July 12, 2017, according to McHugh, who said the job change was not a promotion but an assignment.
In a 2017 job performance review, Sgt. Shawn Sumner wrote, “Det. Williams has been very productive” and the rest of the sentence was redacted.
McHugh wrote that the redaction was made pursuant to state laws “based on Officer Williams’ constitutionally protected rights under Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”
RELATED: Officer who fired fatal shots thought Crawford “was about to” point a weapon at him
Sumner wrote in the summary comments that Williams “is always willing to jump in and help with other’s cases.”
Out of 20 categories in his 2017 review, Williams scored 5s (the highest possible) on attendance and punctuality, physical requirements, teamwork and safety and equipment use, a 3 on planning and organization and 4s on the others. His final score was 4.09.
RELATED: Officer: Shooting Crawford without giving him time to respond was OK
Williams’ 2018 review was similar to 2017, as he scored 5s in investigative skills, physical requirements and teamwork. He had 4s in the other 17 categories. His final score was 4.16.
“Williams continues to show great growing in his current role and a willingness to learn and improve his skills, abilities and knowledge,” Sumner wrote.
RELATED: Williams used force nearly 10 times the department average
RELATED: Feds won’t charge Beavercreek officer in Walmart shooting
RELATED: Prosecutor said case was ‘tragic’ and ‘perfect storm of circumstances’
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