Ohio Girl Wielding Knife Fatally Shot by Police – Protests Ensue
Not long before the guilty verdict was announced for Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, an incident nearly 800 miles away in Columbus, Ohio ensued when a black female teenager wielding what appeared to be a knife was shot and killed by police. Despite police body camera footage released to the public, protests quickly ensued.
At around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, police were called to the scene on a report of someone trying to stab others at a home.
When police arrived, they saw a young girl tackling another to the ground while holding a knife. The female was then seen charging at another girl while raising the knife above her head. An officer then fired multiple shots, fatally wounding the knife-wielding female.
In the footage, an officer can be heard saying “she came at them with a knife.”
Body camera footage showing teenage female attacking 2 others with a knife in Columbus, OH. (Columbus Police Department)
The incident is now being investigated by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Interim chief of the Columbus Police Department Michael Woods said during a press conference that he wanted to release body camera footage as soon as possible for transparency purposes.
Woods said, "We took some unprecedented steps tonight. We've never been able to release video this fast, but we thought it was important to share with the community, to be transparent about this incident, to let them have some answers that we can provide tonight."
He also noted that the incident’s investigators will look into whether the shooting conforms with a state law that says, "deadly force can be used to protect yourself or the protection of a third person."
The city’s mayor Andrew Ginther called the entire situation a tragedy.
Ginther said, "It’s a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation. The city of Columbus lost a 15-year-old girl today. 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."
Police did not identify the deceased teen, but her family identified her as 15-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. According to Franklin County Children Services, Bryant was a foster child being cared for by the family.
Despite the body camera footage released showing the teen attempting to stab others with a knife, protesters gathered both near the scene of the shooting and at the police headquarters. Many of those who gathered were seen pushing past police barricades and chants of “Black women matter,” Black girls matter,” “She was a child,” George Floyd,” and “Say her name!” emanated from those in attendance.
(WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE IN VIDEOS BELOW)
Mayor Ginther urged residents for peace.
"I ask for everyone to pray for peace. Tonight, we pray for this family, we pray for our city, and we pray for our neighbors throughout this community," he said.