By Catherine E. Shoichet and Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 1:44 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
(CNN) — After killing a man at an Ohio Walmart, police interrogated his girlfriend, accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail time and suggesting she could be on drugs, according to a video posted on The Guardian’s website.
The man, John Crawford III, was holding an air rifle he had picked up off a store shelf when police shot him. A prosecutor called the case a “perfect storm” with “no bad guys,” but the family has said police used excessive force.
A grand jury decided not to indict the officer who pulled the trigger in the August 5 shooting at a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio. While the Justice Department investigates the case, Crawford’s name — along with the likes of Michael Brown and Eric Garner — is being chanted by some demonstrators across the country protesting what they say is systemic racism that fuels police violence.
Now, the family’s lawyer says the recently released interrogation video shows police were trying to force Crawford’s girlfriend to say something to justify what they’d done.
“This was just an effort to cover up this bad shooting,” attorney Michael Wright said.
In the interrogation video, which was posted on The Guardian’s website on Sunday, a police detective repeatedly presses Crawford’s tearful girlfriend, asking her where Crawford got the gun he had in the store.
“You understand that we’re investigating a serious incident,” Detective Rodney Curd says. “You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail.”