In Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, a 16-year-old Black girl was shot by a police officer while responding to a call about a fight involving a knife in a neighboring front yard. Early reports gave the girls age as 15.
The girl who died was named Ma'Khia Bryant.
Body cam footage was released quickly after protests broke out in downtown Columbus.
Just moments after #DerekChauvin was given a guilty verdict, protestors have gathered in SE Columbus after a police… https://t.co/XTGOwaA2Yf— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH) 1618957626.0
The video revealed there were multiple individuals involved in an altercation, with one person holding what appeared to be a knife with a black handle similar to a steak knife.
The video showed one girl falling onto the ground after another girl is seen lunging towards her, followed by that same individual lunging towards another girl attempting to dodge her attacks.
The police officer is heard saying this as he gets out his gun:
"Hey, hey, hey, hey. Get down!"
"Get Down! Get down! Get down! Get down!"
— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings. We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available… https://t.co/vwPKZ6m9y6— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@Mayor Andrew Ginther) 1618961417.0
@MayorGinther Sure. Remain calm. Ever wonder how public school teachers can manage 35 teenagers per hour yet the p… https://t.co/dzbsrwY0pZ— anne "Tou Thao also murdered George Floyd" (@anne "Tou Thao also murdered George Floyd") 1618974775.0
@SomeAnneEnergy @MayorGinther Honestly I have been threatened several times. Broken up fights . Have been beat up b… https://t.co/XRCK55FRVW— everythingbagel 🌊 (@everythingbagel 🌊) 1618978097.0
@MayorGinther 15-year old... is a girl. A MINOR. Please be sure to make 'referential opacity' of adjectives does… https://t.co/ccMEffQF9H— Su Mohan #WinBlue #DemsWork4USA (@Su Mohan #WinBlue #DemsWork4USA) 1618965272.0
In a news conference, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said:
"We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community."
"But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Ginther also stated:
"We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community."
An investigation is taking place to determine whether or not the officer broke the Ohio state law on use of deadly force.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference:
"Deadly force can be used to protect yourself or the protection of a third person."
In an interview with WBNS, Paula Bryant—Ma'Khia's mother—said:
"Ma'Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace."
"That is something that I want to always be remembered."
Longtime neighbor and community member Kimberly Shephard shared her reaction to the news:
"The neighborhood has definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this."
"But this is the worst thing that has ever happened out here and unfortunately it is at the hands of police."
"We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn't even enjoy that."
"Because as you're getting one phone call that he was guilty, I'm getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighborhood."
So many people in the Columbus community and beyond are speaking of grief, anger, loss, and heart ache over the roller coaster that was Tuesday.
Malissa Thomas-St. Clair, founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, express her feelings and emotions with… https://t.co/U4AhyuvFmI— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH) 1618960133.0
We couldn’t even revel in our bit of relief for George Floyd without news that Columbus police killed 15 year old M… https://t.co/78fALp2AwO— Brittney Cooper (@Brittney Cooper) 1618967146.0
We mourn the young life of #MakiyahBryant. 🤍 https://t.co/V63MffuLAv https://t.co/Bg8CLAKxGq— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BEYONCÉ LEGION) 1619016159.0
#MakiyahBryant was calling the police for help when the police shot her. Protests are happening near the street whe… https://t.co/6SPqLmsj1l— the white man (@the white man) 1618968333.0
This is not the first time a Black child has been murdered by police, sparking protests for Black Lives Matter across the country. In 2014, Tamir Rice at age 12 was fatally shot by police for playing with a toy gun.
Black kids are six times more likely to be shot by police based on this study by Pediatrics.
The discrepancy in police reaction to armed White murderers and Black children was cited by many online.
Makhia Bryant gets shot 4 times for holding a knife. BUT... Dylann Roof kills 9 people who were praying in churc… https://t.co/17j55aC4zJ— KID VICIOUS🔪 (@KID VICIOUS🔪) 1619019573.0
Why is it that the same people who think it was OK for Kyle Rittenhouse to murder two people "in self-defense" also… https://t.co/xB2jO3kFyo— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!) 1618985228.0
I am seeing a lot of justification for what happened today in Columbus, but I may remind you that Kyle Rittenhouse… https://t.co/SEUGALESIr— BERSERK (@BERSERK) 1618984918.0
It's called "adultification bias" and it routinely + disproportionately affects Black girls. It's why a 17 yr old… https://t.co/fZCpdPsXOd— AlexisOhanian.eth 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@AlexisOhanian.eth 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣) 1619027008.0
Conservatives: The cops had to shoot Ma’Khia Bryant because she had a knife. Kyle Rittenhouse: https://t.co/mGKclZhXlk— Alex Cole (@Alex Cole) 1619028448.0
Don’t you dare say 16 year old Ma’Khia was shot to death by police because she had a knife! Kyle Rittenhouse had… https://t.co/fJsjvUoej6— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded) 1619013497.0
The #SayHerName campaign has brought attention to the many women and girls who have gone unnoticed or forgotten in the movements for Black Lives and Defund the Police.
We will continue to keep Ma'Khia Bryant in our thoughts.