Police Officer Shoots and Kills 16-Year-Old Ma’Khia Bryant, Body Camera Footage Released

Police body camera footage shows the moments before an officer shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant
Police body camera footage shows the moments before an officer shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant
Screenshot: NBC4 Columbus (YouTube)

A police officer in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant late Tuesday afternoon, around the same time the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd was being read.

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Because if life ain’t nothing else, she’s a cold bitch.

Columbus Division of Police Interim Chief Michael Woods gave a press conference Tuesday evening during which he showed footage from the body-worn camera of the officer who shot and killed Bryant.

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Woods began his press conference by saying “Earlier today we had a police-involved shooting,” and I’m going to stop right there and point out that this particular phrase—along with its cousin, “officer-involved shooting”—needs to disappear. It’s such a passive (aggressive) way to say the cops shot someone when the words “police shot ____” are right there, and I want everyone to stop doing that shit. Please. Thank you.

“Normally we don’t provide information this soon, but we understand the public’s need, desire and expectation to have transparency upon what happened,” Woods continued. “We’ve worked very hard tonight to provide you a short video of the officer—the first officer that arrived at the scene, and this is the officer that did ultimately fire his weapon.”

Woods said police dispatch received a call from an address on Legion Lane in Columbus at 4:32 p.m. The caller told the dispatcher that “females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them.” Officers were dispatched to the address at 4:36 p.m. and arrived on the scene at 4:44 p.m.

Woods then showed the first video.

The video shows that the officer who fired his weapon did so within 9-10 seconds of arriving on the scene. He arrived in what was complete chaos, as there were two girls clearly fighting in the front yard of a house and a crowd of people standing around watching. As the two girls keep fighting, a third girl wearing pink appears to walk toward the police officer, who then asks “Hey, hey. What’s going on? What’s going on?”

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Before the girl can answer, the officer turns his attention to the two girls fighting. As he draws his holstered weapon, he yells, “Hey, hey, get down! Get down!”

The two girls separate, and the officer turns his attention to Bryant. She is moving away from the girl she was fighting as well as the officer, and her way is blocked by a car that is parked in the driveway. She and the girl wearing pink fall against the car, when the officer points his weapon, still yelling “Get down!” and opens fire.

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He fires what sounds like four shots, and it should be noted that both Bryant and the person in pink were standing against the car when he opened fire, so we could easily be talking about two dead Black children tonight.

Bryant goes down immediately, the girl in pink runs to avoid the bullets, and the gathered crowd erupts in shock and dismay, including one man yelling at the officer, “She was just a kid! Are you crazy?!”

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Other officers on the scene move to provide first aid to Bryant, and a voice that sounds like the original officer says “She was coming at her with a knife.”

What appears to be a kitchen steak knife can be seen on the ground near Bryant’s feet.

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Woods said Bryant was attempting to stab both the first young lady she was fighting with as well as the girl in pink. He then showed a slowed down version of the video.

“This is a tragic incident for all involved, but especially for the family of the female,” Woods said after playing the second video. He added that they would not be releasing her name until all her next of kin had been notified.

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NPR reports that it was her aunt, Hazel Bryant, who identified her, and 10TV reports that both her mother and Franklin County Children Services confirmed her identity. Bryant was reportedly in foster care with Children Services.

According to NPR, Bryant’s aunt said it was Bryant who had called the police for help after receiving assault threats from a group of “older kids.”

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By Tuesday evening, several demonstrations had broken out, including a crowd of people gathering at the downtown headquarters of the Columbus Division of Police.

Woods said that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, and once that is completed, the Division of Police will conduct an administrative review of the actions of all officers on the scene, including the officer who killed Bryant.

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Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther spoke at the press conference and said “We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.”

Good thing he didn’t “accidentally” kill her, Mr. Mayor.

Ginther said the city will continue to share as much information as possible as quickly as possible without compromising the BCI investigation.

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Blah blah blah.

A police officer in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed a 16-year-old Black girl named Ma’Khia Bryant on Tuesday.

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Fuck thoughts, prayers, and peace.

A Black child died at the hands of a cop on Tuesday.

I just wanted to point that out.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

DISCUSSION

Nearly every initial press account of this incident- which was based on the secondhand accounts of family members- was completely contradicted by the bodycam footage. Heres a picture of the dead girl about to plunge a six inch knife into the woman in pink

This description of what happened is journalistic malpractice ( not that this place has any journalistic standards)

The two girls separate, and the officer turns his attention to Bryant. She is moving away from the girl she was fighting as well as the officer, and her way is blocked by a car that is parked in the driveway. She and the girl wearing pink fall against the car, when the officer points his weapon, still yelling “Get down!” and opens fire.

Bryant may have been a child, but was she a raging 200 pound child with a six inch knife. When they “fell against the car” SHE WAS ABOUT TO FUCKING STAB THE GIRL IN PINK. To leave out that detail is straight up lying.

If this cop hadnt shot the girl with the knife, every BLM sympathetic motherfucker on the planet would be raging about how the cops just stood there and let some black girl get stabbed. This was an unfortunate situation with no good options for the cop.