The funeral for Ma’Khia Bryant will be take place Friday at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. For Timothy Clarke, the church’s bishop, the sadness of burying a victim of police violence has become all too familiar.
According to WBNS-10, after holding funerals for Casey Goodson Jr. and Andre Hill, Bryant’s funeral will make this the third time in four months that the church has held a funeral for a victim of police violence. “Grief is like wet sand. When you add to that tragedy, that weight only becomes greater,” Bishop Clarke told the news outlet. Bryant was fatally shot by Columbus cop Nicholas Reardon after she was seen lunging at another girl with a knife.
The fact that she had a knife has led to quite a few people showing just how little attention they pay to the world around them. If a 19-year-old white boy can shoot up a school and be taken in alive, then why can’t the same be done when it’s a 16-year-old Black girl with a knife? The fact that so many people are not only willing to stomach this horror but co-sign it is fucking disappointing. If it was your kid in that situation, would you be making justifications for why they deserved to die?
“Ma’Khia is worth grieving. We should give ourselves and others the gift of grace, gather around this family and guard and sustain them,” Clarke said. Clarke added that he’s been working to ensure that the church buries “this baby with the dignity she deserves.” The bishop said he has faith that the community will band together and celebrate Bryant’s tragically short life in a way she deserves.
A wake for Bryant is happening at 12 p.m. ET Friday, followed by the funeral at 1 p.m. It is unclear if the funeral will be open to the public.
“We will grieve, but as the Bible says, not as those who have no hope. We will find a way to celebrate,” Clarke said.