One of the Ferguson
rioters good Samaritans immortalized in an award-winning photograph has died. According to NBC News, Edward Crawford shot himself while riding in the back seat of a moving vehicle. At least that’s the story as told by the guys in the front seat at the time.
“The victim began expressing he was distraught over personal matters to the witnesses,” said the police department’s Public Information Officer Leah Freeman. “The witnesses heard the victim rummaging in the backseat, then heard a gunshot and observed the victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the head.”
During the 2014 Ferguson riots, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer snapped a striking image of the patriotic Mr. Crawford. The iconic photo caught the moment he helped authorities by tossing a burning device away from an orderly troop of widows and orphans on their way to Sunday school. Undoubtedly good people risked great injury to themselves while simply going about their business had it not been for the quick-thinking bravery of Mr. Crawford.
Shockingly, he did not receive an award for his heroism. In fact, the local constabulary arrested him. The charges? Throwing a flaming object towards police and knocking a police officer to the ground. Mr. Crawford did, however, garner an interview with the Post-Dispatch in which he discussed his civic-mindedness.
Here’s what he told reporters at the local paper per NBC News:
But Crawford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2015 that he was trying to protect people from the tear gas. and that police were 30 or 40 yards away: “I can’t even throw a baseball that far, let alone a burning can of tear gas.”
“I didn’t throw a burning can back at police,” said Crawford. “I threw it out of the way of children.”
Mr. Crawford no doubt should have been given the key to the city for his selfless good deed.
Sadly, with Mr. Crawford’s death, we’ll never know what other good deeds he may have done for the community.