- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A U.S. Justice Department review of the fatal police shooting of a Wal-Mart shopper would be appropriate, Ohio’s governor said Wednesday ahead of the federal department’s decision to go forward with just such a review.

Gov. John Kasich issued a statement after a special grand jury in Greene County decided against charging police involved in the Aug. 5 fatal shooting of John Crawford III. Police in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek have said the 22-year-old black man refused commands to put down what turned out to be an air rifle.

Crawford’s family asked for a federal investigation to determine whether race was a factor. The officers involved are white. Federal authorities announced their intentions of investigate Wednesday.

In his statement, Kasich said he agrees with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who said the Justice Department should look into whether any federal laws were violated. Kasich said he has watched the store surveillance video and discussed the case with DeWine.

“This is a tragedy for the Crawford family, and I share the concern of many in the community that this matter must be handled with the utmost seriousness and respect,” Kasich said. “I’ve consulted with local leaders, including leaders in the African-American community, and I applaud the example they have set of calm, restraint and patience.”

Both Kasich and DeWine are Republicans.

Kasich canceled two scheduled campaign appearances and an official event Wednesday that would have taken him away from his office in Columbus as the grand jury’s decision neared. All three events were in northeast Ohio.

His spokesman declined any updated comment after the federal investigation was announced.

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