Ma’Khia Bryant: Ohio police release body camera footage in shooting of 16-year-old

Clip shows chaotic scene before officer opens fire

Stuti Mishra
Thursday 22 April 2021 00:57

Columbus police release body camera footage of killing of 16-year-old Makiyah Bryant

Police in Ohio have released body camera footage of the shooting of a 16-year-old black girl who was killed on the same day as the verdict in George Floyd’s case was announced.

The girl, identified by family as Ma’Khia Bryant, was shot and killed by police in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon, after officers were called to a disturbance on the southeast side of the city following reports of an attempted stabbing.

Footage of the bodycam attached to the police officer who killed the 16-year-old was released on Tuesday evening.

Arriving police encountered a chaotic scene of several people on the front lawn where the teenager in question, brandishing a knife, charged toward one female who falls backwards, then lunged at a second female, according to a Reuters account of the video.

A slow-motion replay showed the second victim stumbling backward against a car parked in the driveway as the knife-wielding youth raises the weapon as if about to stab her, and an officer opens fire.

The teenager immediately collapses against the parked car and onto the ground, and the weapon, which appears to be a kitchen-style knife, is seen lying on the pavement near her as an officer crouches at her side to render medical aid.

The shooting took place just 20 minutes before Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd last year, was declared guilty by the jury. The girl’s death sparked protests in Ohio’s largest city and several protesters assembled later in the day near the shooting site.

The interim Columbus police chief, Michael Woods, told reporters while releasing the video footage that officers involved were responding to an emergency 911 call from someone who reported an attempted stabbing at a home on the city’s southeast side at 4.45 pm.

Mr Woods also said officers were authorised to use lethal weapons for defence or to protect a third party. He said an investigation was ongoing to determine if the actions of the officers were justified and the officer in question – who has not been identified – has been placed on administrative leave.

The police chief said the department was releasing video to the public within hours of the incident in the interest of "transparency”.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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