Police officer shot and killed teen girl
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(CNN)Columbus, Ohio, officials released additional body camera video on Wednesday of a police officer fatally shooting a Black teen who charged two females with a knife.
“We don’t yet have all of the facts but we do know that a 16-year-old girl, a child of this community, tragically died last night,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told reporters.
“Bottom line: Did Ma’Khia Bryant need to die yesterday?” he added. “How did we get here? This is a failure on the part of our community. Some are guilty but all of us are responsible.”
Police body cam video shows Ma'Khia Bryant charging woman with a knife Tuesday before she was shot by officer in Columbus, Ohio.
Police body cam video shows Ma’Khia Bryant charging woman with a knife Tuesday before she was shot by officer in Columbus, Ohio.
Ginther said state investigators will determine “if the officer involved was wrong, and if he was we will hold him accountable.”
Police identified the officer who fired the shots as Nicholas Reardon, who was hired in December 2019. The officer is off street duty pending an investigation. Calls seeking comment from the police union have not been returned.
The fatal shooting comes at a time when police use of force around the nation — and in Columbus specifically — is under new scrutiny. In February, former Columbus police officer Adam Coy was indicted on charges related to the fatal shooting of Andre Hill, a 47-year-old Black man.
Ohio State students gather on High Street to protest the police shooting that killed Ma'Khia Bryant.
Ohio State students gather on High Street to protest the police shooting that killed Ma’Khia Bryant.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a crowd of demonstrators — including Ohio State University students — marched in downtown Columbus toward the state Capitol building. They chanted “Black lives matter” and “Hand up. Don’t shoot.” They also chanted Ma’Khia Bryant’s name.
Hundreds gathered in different sections of Columbus throughout the day as they headed toward police headquarters.
Police attempt to revive teen after shooting
The girl’s mother, Paula Bryant, and the Franklin County Children Services had identified the teen as Ma’Khia Bryant.
In a series of clips from police body camera video, the girl is seen holding a knife during a tussle with another young woman. An officer arrived at the scene and opened fire when the girl appeared to attempt to stab a second woman.
“She’s a —- kid,” a man at the scene tells the officer after four shots were fired. “Damn, are you stupid.”
Ma’Khia fell to the ground, the knife by her side.
“She came at her with a knife,” the officer who fired his weapon is heard saying.
The situation unfolded rapidly, according to clips from the body cameras of three officers on the street. Ma’Khia was holding a knife in her right hand and charged a woman dressed in pink — who turned to her side as the teen appeared to attempt to stab her. That’s when the shots rang out.
Officers attempted life saving measures “almost immediately,” said interim Police Chief Michael Woods, who said the first medics were on scene in six minutes.
Hazel Bryant is embraced after her teen niece, Ma'Khia Bryant, was shot and killed in a fatal police shooting on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.
Hazel Bryant is embraced after her teen niece, Ma’Khia Bryant, was shot and killed in a fatal police shooting on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.
In the video, one officer is heard asking, “Where is she hit?” The officer starts lifesaving measures. “Stay with us,” he tells the girl, asking bystanders her name.
“Stay with us, Ma’Khia,” he implored.
Officials asked the community to wait for all the facts to come out.
If an officer is “faced with someone employing deadly force, deadly force can be the response,” Woods told reporters.
Asked about the policy on the use of Tasers versus handguns, Woods declined to comment on the specific incident but said: “If there’s not deadly force being perpetrated on someone else at that time, an officer may have the opportunity to have cover distance and time to use a Taser.”
“But if those things are not present, and there’s an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life, the officer can use their firearm to protect that third person,” he added.
Ginther said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will look into actions of the officer.
“I understand the outrage and the emotion about this incident,” Department of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. said at a new conference. “The video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause.”