The Guardian is reporting (here) that the officer involved in the recent Beavercreek WalMart shooting had received active shooter training a week before the incident. What they don’t mention is that the team conducting the training, the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), is part of Mike DeWine’s Ohio Attorney General’s office. Despite having this and other conflicts of interest, Mr. DeWine continued to play an active role in the case until the end, causing some to question the validity of the results.
According to the Guardian, the officer involved in the shooting was part of a class that was “shown a slideshow invoking their loved ones and the massacres at Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech while being trained … on confronting ‘active shooter situations’.” The class was based on the current FBI protocol, a protocol that was revised after the massacre at Columbine to focus on “speed, surprise and aggressiveness” in dealing with active shooter situations.
Earlier this week, a grand jury failed to indict the officers involved in the shooting. And the U.S. Department of Justice has promised to do their own independent investigation. Many, including the family of John Crawford III, the man killed in the incident, have questioned the legitimacy of the investigation and the grand jury’s decision. DeWine’s many missteps on this case make it difficult to totally dismiss those concerns.
Mike DeWine came into this case with multiple conflicts of interest, he caused additional confusion by appointing a special prosecutor who went on vacation during part of the investigation, and delaying the grand jury for an additional three weeks. DeWine also promised to recuse himself from the case, but stayed actively involved until the end. And now we find out that a division of DeWine’s office provided active shooter training to the officers involved in the incident just a week before it occurred. That alone should have been enough for DeWine to completely disengage from the case. But DeWine just couldn’t pull himself away from something so high profile, something with national press.