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A Black teenage girl was shot dead by police after they attended a disturbance she had allegedly alerted them to in the first place.
16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed when police showed up to a 911 call she had made, in which she had reported someone was trying to fight her and attack her with a knife.
Officers arrived on the scene within 1o minutes, and found a small group of teenage girls and a male standing outside a house.
When one of the officers asked for an explanation, one girl – Ma’Khia – pushed another to the ground and then another against a car. After shouting for her to get down and failing to comply, the officer then shot Ma’Khia four times.
In a press conference held yesterday, April 21, Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods showed the officer’s slowed-down bodycam footage, which shows a knife visible in Ma’Khia’s hand. It was after the officer in question shouted at her to ‘get down’ several times that he opened fire four times.
After the girl slumps to the ground, screams can be heard and people then begin shouting, with one man who was involved in the disturbance saying, ‘She’s a fu*king kid, man!’
The girl’s aunt, Hazel Bryant, arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and explained that it was Ma’Khia who had phoned the police for help after being threatened by someone she lived with in her foster home.
She reportedly also called her father and grandmother for help, and only grabbed the knife as a means of self-defence, according to BuzzFeed News.
‘She was a good kid, she was loving,’ Bryant said. ‘Yeah, she had issues but that’s OK. All of us go through sh*t… She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.’
In the video, one officer can be seen tending to the victim, before he then tries to grab her feet. ‘She came at her with a knife,’ he says to a colleague, as the video stops.
Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now undertaking a criminal investigation into the incident, and once complete, Woods said his department will review the officers’ actions.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said that as a father he was saddened by the incident, adding:
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.
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