Don Crawford

Don Crawford

President of Crawford Broadcasting and the voice of the STAND Podcast



and a warrior

A simple man, unknown to the world, just another policeman, one of the category of civil servants now so seemingly disrespected and distrusted by many, including and especially the black community.  His name was:


Robert Wilson III was African American.  He was slain in the line of duty, gunned down by two men.  He died defending his community, both black and white.

At the end of duty, Robert Wilson had gone to a video game store in Philadelphia in order to do a security check and to pick up a gift, a brand new PlayStation 4 and a game for his 9 year old son who had done so well in school and to celebrate his 10th birthday.  In came two men, both African American with guns drawn and announced a robbery.  They pointed guns in the face of the store clerk and demanded money.  It seemed as though the gunmen and robbers knew the layout of the video store, watching everyone carefully.  Officer Wilson was at the store’s counter where several customers and employees were gathered.  When the robbery was announced, Wilson stepped away from the counter so that the robbers’ attention would be focused on him and not innocent customers and bystanders.  Wilson drew his gun and engaged in a fierce and violent gun battle with the two suspects and even continued to shoot at them when he was being hit by gunfire.  In the midst of that hail of bullets, Wilson was hit in the head and died almost immediately.  The robbers fled but were soon captured and are now in custody awaiting trial for the murder of the hero and warrior:


The tragic story grieved the heart and soul of Philadelphia and perhaps others in our country may have heard briefly about the incident.  Interestingly, all Philadelphians wait with baited breath for Attorney General Eric Holder to rise up in horror, visit the city and standup for the brave policemen and women, black and white who protect our city and in fact all cities.  Nobody in the City of Philadelphia holds his breath.  After all, it was two black men who gunned down a black police officer.  As Jesse Jackson once said, black crime at work, black on black and the world pays little attention.  But we do.

Robert Wilson III was a dedicated public servant, loved to serve his fellow man and to do the work of an honest, trustworthy policeman.  He was a father, husband, a caring family man, a man of values, morality and Christian faith.  Philadelphia police commissioner said of Wilson:

“I think he redefined what a hero is all about.”

He did indeed.  Commissioner Ramsey, himself African American, knew that men like Officer Wilson were special and also knew the character, or the lack thereof of the two African American men who gunned him down.  Interesting dynamics, don’t you think?  President Obama loudly criticized the criminality, essentially the illegal acts of the police as they occurred in Ferguson and Staten Island.  Even though the victims in both incidents were black and the perpetrators white, so the victim in this case was African American and the perpetrators black.  I guess that really doesn’t matter in Washington, D.C., does it?  Of course, by now we should be used to double standards, lying and deceit coming from Washington, hypocrisy for political purposes with undoubtedly makes a hero and warrior like Robert Wilson III IRRELEVANT.  Nothing to be gained politically by becoming involved in this kind of shooting, is there?  The City of Philadelphia would sure like to hear from you, Mr. Obama, and the same for you, Mr. Holder.  After all, you made a personal trip to Ferguson, Missouri, whatever your real purpose, and perhaps a mere note of sympathy, just one line to the family might suffice.

The officer known as Robbie loved people.  He would help organize touch football games in the street, help coach a little league baseball team and did virtually anything asked by his community.  Wilson worked, and worked hard.  He earned money whenever he needed it rather than turn to criminal activity as so many did.  His fellow officers said of him that Robbie loved life, loved policing and serving his community and loved, most importantly his two young sons, ages 9 and 11.  The Philadelphia community lost a hero and a warrior.  Two young boys lost a very, very special father.  Said yet another officer-friend:

“In his last day on earth, he was able to save lives in that store.”

I have always wondered whether or not the shooting by Officer Wilson of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri was justified.  That is, did Wilson in fact fear for his life, were the actions of Brown threatening, either bodily harm or life itself, was there an assault which would justify the use of force, an armed weapon?  The Grand Jury believed there was reasonable cause to do so and failed to indict.  Rather than respect the verdict, the trouble began and the flames of racial divide and hatred were fanned all the way up to the Attorney General and even the President of the United States.  No matter the facts, rare things in Washington and our world today, racial hatred was exploited.  Rather than take such a tragic even as an opportunity to heal, bring a community together, begin rational dialogue and discussions between black and white, the tragic incident was exploited for political purposes locally and nationally.  I wonder if the participants in the tragic Philadelphia drama had been a different color.  If perhaps the gunman had been white, Officer Wilson black, would that have been the next tragic incident exploited by race mongers to further fan the flame of racial hatred.  But all of the participants in this horrible tragedy were black, Commission Charles Ramsey, Officer Robert Wilson III and the two gunmen who shot Officer Wilson, one of whom was only wounded in the gunfire exchange.  No matter that Michael Brown, who was under the influence of drugs, was possessed like a “demon” according to Wilson and came after him before being shot and killed after just having robbed a convenience store, all that mattered to the media and politicians in their passion to incite violence was that a white police officer killed an unarmed black man. How can there ever be reconciliation, understanding, healing and growth between races in such an environment?  Involvement of men like Al Sharpton produced nothing but trouble.  Said one of the Ferguson incident:


Tragic for Ferguson and the country over, don’t you think.

Ironically, even though law enforcement has come under fire over these high-profile deaths in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, there has been a surge of applicants to police academies across the country when the opposite perhaps should occur.  In Ferguson, Missouri, some 1,000 people applied for a vacant dispatchers job and more than 50 applied for two vacant patrol officer positions, incredible numbers of applicants under the circumstances.  In Ferguson, Mayor James Knowles stated that:

“Considering the number of people interested (applicants) right now, I am sure we will find outstanding men and women to be new officers here in Ferguson.”

Perhaps these men and women, new applicants were motivated by a high sense of morality, public service and a desire to do good even under these tragic circumstances, doing good by becoming police officers in the pursuit of justice.

Interestingly, there were 37 people in the officer training class that started in Ferguson last October.  17 were white, 18 WERE BLACK, 1 was Hispanic and 1 was Asian.  The March 2015 class will have approximately the same racial breakdown.  That seems to bode well for a city which is over 60% black.

One of the men who killed Officer Robert Wilson III was a man well-respected, on the right path but “had turned to such a dark path,” so said those who knew the killer.  Ramone Williams was a star basketball player, quiet, maintained good grades with no disciplinary problems.  Something changed, and Williams, rather than starring in basketball or growing as a student, murdered Officer Wilson, a tragic, incredibly tragic turn of events.  Three black men are gone forever, one dead and two facing the death penalty or at the least life imprisonment.  This tragedy destroys so much, everywhere and so many.

There was a man Charles Phillips, a retired Philadelphia police officer who became friends with Robert Wilson when he first joined the police force.  Phillips thought that Officer Wilson was “one-of-a-kind.”  Phillips, a police officer himself said of Wilson:

“What makes me sick is that cops get a bad rap all the way around today because of a few bad apples.  We were American heroes 25 years ago but now we are treated like the bad guys.  We still put on that uniform every day knowing that we might not come home to our families.”

God bless you, Officer Phillips, and more so for your memory, Officer Robert Wilson III.  You are heroes.  Officer Phillips is with his family.  Officer Wilson, doing his duty, will never see his family again.  No matter what a President Obama would say, or an Attorney General Eric Holder, or a rabble-rousing Al Sharpton, we say from Philadelphia that you, Robert Wilson, were indeed a hero.  You “put on that uniform” every day and you wore it with pride.  You were fair, just and serving.  You paid the ultimate price, giving your life for the people and community you loved, protecting them and making certain that justice was done.  You are the one who should be honored in Washington, D.C. by Obama, Holder and Sharpton.  You, an African American, were a model for all.  Thank you for all you did for the community of Philadelphia, as a role model for our nation, and in the service of justice.  When others like your killers turn to murder, you gave your life in the line of duty.  Somehow, may our great country understand the lesson your life left.  You were indeed, Robert Wilson III:







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