Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, is fatally shot by Columbus police officer
Bryant, who reportedly called the police, was shot and killed by law enforcement just as Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.
A 16-year-old girl was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer just as Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd.
Ma’Khia’s mother Paula Bryant confirmed her identity with local news reporter Lacey Crisp. She was shot and killed by a police officer in southeast Columbus Tuesday after officers were called to her home just after 4:30 p.m. for a disturbance.
Family said it was Bryant who called the police because girls were fighting outside the house at the 3000 block of Legion Lane. What prompted an officer to shoot the teenager remains unclear but she was taken to Mount Carmel East in critical condition, where she died.
According to the New York Times, Ma’Khia Bryant lived in a foster home and got into an altercation with another person at the home. The teen reportedly had a knife but her aunt, Hazel Bryant, said her niece dropped the weapon before she was shot multiple times.
Columbus police released body cam video of the shooting late Tuesday.
Ma’Khia’s mother said her daughter was a “very loving, peaceful little girl” who was a honor roll student. “Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace and that’s something I always want to be remembered,” said Paula Bryant.
In a statement tweeted Tuesday evening, Mayor Andrew Ginther said “a young woman tragically lost her life” and that cops were wearing body-cameras. “We do not know all of the details,” Ginther said before asking people to “remain calm” pending an investigation to gather additional details.
“There is body-worn camera footage of the incident. We are working to review it as soon as possible. BCI is on the scene conducting an independent investigation,” the mayor tweeted, adding, “— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings.” Ginther continued, “We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts.”
Shortly after word spread of the officer-involved shooting of a Black teenager, protesters gathered in the area. Videos show community members outraged at police.
Bryant’s aunt described her niece as a “good kid.”
“You ain’t going to have my niece go out like that. Either you report the truth or you don’t report nothing,” she told reporters. “She was a good kid. She was loving. Yeah she had issues, but that’s okay. All of us go through sh*t. She was 15 mother f**king years old. She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”
“This is the racist a*s b*tch that shot this poor f*cking girl,” a woman said in a live stream video on Facebook. The witness said the unidentifed officer said Bryant “tried to stab him.”
The shooting happened just as former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the murder of Floyd. Mayor Ginther weighed in on the verdict about an hour before Bryant was shot.
“This verdict is the best outcome following the tragic and unnecessary loss of life. It brings some measure of justice for those who knew and loved George Floyd, but it will not restore his life,” Ginther tweeted. “Nor will it erase the centuries of racial injustice that continues to plague our nation. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ Today the system worked.”
As theGRIO previously reported, a jury in Minneapolis found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 12 and a half years on either second-degree unintentional murder or third-degree murder according to sentencing guidelines. Second-degree manslaughter has a maximum four-year sentence. Aggravating factors could determine a longer sentence of up to 40 years.
The sequestered jurors began their deliberation on Monday for four hours and resumed on Tuesday when they rendered their judgment later in the day.
Floyd’s family and their attorney Benjamin Crump released a statement in the aftermath of the guilty verdict. It can be read in full below.
“Painfully earned justice has arrived for George Floyd’s family and the community here in Minneapolis, but today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country and even the world. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America.
This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state. We thank Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team for their fierce dedication to justice for George,” the statement continued. “But it does not end here. We have not forgotten that the other three officers who played their own roles in the death of George Floyd must still be held accountable for their actions, as well.”
Chauvin, 45, was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. He pled not guilty to all the offenses.
*theGrio’s Stephanie Guerilus contributed to this report.
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