Updated as of 9/11/2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Newly released surveillance footage from inside the Kroger store shows 21-year-old Ta’Kiya appearing to shoplift moments before being shot and killed by police in the parking lot. Despite a witness testimony that she didn’t steal from the store, the footage shows her smuggling liquor bottles in her handbag, via WOSU.
The video from August 24 shows Young take a lap around the liquor section of the store, stop in an aisle and pull out a tote bag from inside her purse. She grabs about five bottles of liquor and places them in her tote bag and then places two bottles in a shopping basket. Two other women then enter the store and another camera shows Young duck behind a shelf to place the bottles from the basket into one of the bags on her shoulder.
After waiting in line for the cash register, she walks out with the two women with merchandise still in hand. From another view near the checkout line of the grocery section, the basket disappears from her hand but she still holds the two purses. Police say the alarms went off as they left.
“What is clear is that petty theft does not justify murder and comply or die is not the rule of law in this country,” he said in a statement. “The fact that an unarmed woman was shot unjustifiably, then dragged from her car and handcuffed after being shot should shake the conscience of everyone who watches the newly released video footage.”
Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford said in a release two officers were in the Kroger parking lot helping a driver who was locked out of their car when a store employee reported a shoplifting suspect. The employee claimed Young stole bottles of alcohol from the store.
When the officer approached Young, she was inside her vehicle. Belford said she refused the commands to exit her car and “drove her car into one of his officers.” That officer then shot through her windshield, fatally striking Young.
Chief Belford admitted the officer, now identified as Connor Grubb, was out of department policy when he pulled his firearm.
The body camera footage shows the point of view of both officers who approached Young. The one who came to the driver’s side watches Young get in her car then approaches her window telling her to get out. The officer repeatedly knocks on her window and windshield until Young rolls down her window and asks, “For what?”
“They said you stole stuff, do not leave,” the officer responded. Young said she didn’t steal anything but saw other girls taking the merchandise. The two officers continue commanded her to “get out of the fucking car.” The officer on the driver’s side takes a window breaking tool and jabs it at her window.
At that point, Young turns her wheel all the way to the right as if she’s going to pull off. The officer in front of her vehicle pulls out his service weapon and points it at Young. When the car pulls out of the parking space, a shot is fired but the video is paused so the impact is not seen.
“Having viewed the footage in its entirety, it is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority. As if the pain of losing Ta’Kiya isn’t enough, we must grapple with the knowledge that her unborn daughter was also robbed of her life in this hateful act,” wrote attorneys for Young’s family in a statement.
Walton previously stated in a press conference that his office was contacted by a witness who saw Young holding the liquor bottles but placing them down before leaving the store. The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave upon the investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.