Police in Ohio shoot and kill teenage girl, shortly before Derek Chauvin verdict
A Black teenage girl was fatally shot by police Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, after officers reportedly responded to an attempted stabbing.
A family member identified the victim as Ma’khia Bryant; city officials declined to release her name. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and police officials said she was 15.
Late Tuesday, police released body-cam video that appeared to show the victim with a knife in her hand. Officials said the responding cops were attempting to break up a fight. Police played the video at regular speed, then in slow motion.
WARNING: Graphic video shows shooting.
Protesters rallied against the shooting, which took place just before former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
Columbus police were called to the scene around 4:30 p.m., The Daily Beast reported — and were said to have been responding to a report of an attempted stabbing. According to television station WBNS, the caller had phoned cops to report a fight outside of her home.
But Bryant’s aunt told reporters Ma’khia had called 911 because she was being abused and that the teen “didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”
A knife was reportedly found next to the youngster. She was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead less than an hour later.
The teen was reportedly shot four times.
“The city of Columbus lost a 15-year-old girl,” Ginther said at the late-night press conference. “We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.”
“But a family is grieving tonight,” the mayor added.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said cops have never released body-cam footage as quickly as they have in this case.
Protesters, some carrying signs, quickly arrived in the area, and gathered later outside Columbus police headquarters.
According to WBNS, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the investigation.
“It’s another murder. They’re animals. They treat us like animals,” activist K.C. Taynor told The Daily Beast.
“We don’t get to celebrate nothing,” Taynor said through a megaphone of the Chauvin verdict, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “In the end, you know what, you can’t be Black,” he added.
The victim was an honor roll student, her mother, Paula Bryant, told a WBNS reporter.
The incident occurred days after one woman was killed and several others were wounded at a vigil for a slaying victim at a strip mall in the city.