Body cam footage released in police shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant
Bryant was shot and killed by a policeman in southeast Columbus Tuesday after reports of someone trying to stab them.
As Black Americans were breathing a sigh of relief at the guilty verdict in the case of the State of Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin, a new police shooting took place in Columbus, Ohio. Sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed after someone called authorities, saying a female was trying to stab them.
The footage of Bryant’s shooting death was quickly released by the Columbus Police Department. Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said the quick release was because “we understand the public’s need, desire and expectation to have transparency.”
As theGrio’s Ny Magee reported yesterday, the teen’s mother, Paula Bryant, confirmed her identity with local news reporter Lacey Crisp. Ma’Khia Bryant 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.
Ma’Khia’s mother said her daughter was a “very loving, peaceful little girl” who was an honor roll student. “Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her,” Paula Bryant asserted. “She promoted peace, and that’s something I always want to be remembered.”
Franklin County Children Services confirmed the teen was a foster child under their care.
The graphic footage shows Ma’Khia Bryant wielding a knife. She appears to lunge at two women, and the unidentified officer yells for her to “Get down!” He then takes aim and shoots the girl four times in the chest. He administers aid and calls for medical assistance. However, she died of her injuries at a local hospital.
The officer who shot the teen has been placed on administrative leave. Chief Woods also said a decision on whether the officer violated any policy would come after a criminal investigation and a review by a grand jury.
“My heart breaks for the family,” said Ned Pettus Jr., the city’s director of public safety. “No matter what the circumstances, that family is in agony, and they are in my prayers. They deserve answers. Our city deserves answers.”
He said, however, that “fast, quick answers cannot come at the cost of accurate answers.”
The shooting immediately prompted protests in Columbus and online, where countless Black Americans were just finding some comfort as now-former cop Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Actress Quinta Brunson captured the feelings of many when she wrote on Twitter: “My heart is pretty broken tonight. I don’t want more hashtags. Or more awareness. I want it to end.”