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Ma’Khia Bryant: 16-Year-Old Shot & Killed By Columbus, Ohio Police

Ma’Khia Bryant: 16-Year-Old Shot & Killed By Columbus, Ohio Police

ma'khia bryant columbus police shooting (1)

In the wake of the conclusion of the Derek Chauvin case, another officer-involved shooting has been reported. On Tuesday (April 20) afternoon, viral videos of a scene out of Columbus, Ohio, began to circulate. America was just settling into discussions regarding Chauvin being convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter when it was reported that a 16-year-old girl named Ma’Khia Bryant had been gunned down.

Because this incident occurred within the last 24 hours, there have been conflicting reports about what incited Ma’Khia’s death. The teen was reportedly at a foster home when someone called police dispatch and asked authorities for help. The person claimed that there was a group of girls or women at the scene who planned to “stab them and put their hands on them.” Before dispatch could receive more information about the caller or the alleged assailants, it was reported that the line was disconnected.

This is where information begins to divide because unsubstantiated information has circulated online, claiming that Ma’Khia was the person who made the call. That has not been confirmed or denied by authorities at the time of this publication. Regardless, just hours after the incident, body cam footage from the officer who killed Ma’Khia was shared by authorities online.

The clip shows the officer exiting his patrol car and asking someone outside, “What’s going on?” Quickly, Ma’Khia and another girl come barrelling toward the officer as they fight each other. The girl Ma’Khia was in an altercation with falls to the ground, and Ma’Khia is seen being thrown toward a second woman in a pink outfit. The officer yells at Ma’Khia before firing four shots in the direction of Ma’Khia and the person in the pink outfit. Every bullet hits Ma’Khia, and she slumps to the ground.

Officers arrived at the scene at 4:30 p.m., and within minutes, Ma’Khia Bryant lay dead.

People have debated using force in this case, and it’s shaping up to be a line-in-the-sand issue. In the bodycam footage, Ma’Khia is seen holding a knife in her hand, and the mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, has released a statement saying that the officer used-acceptable force to help others on the scene.

“We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” said Ginther. “But a family is grieving tonight.” Protests have erupted in Columbus.

“Ma’Khia was named after a male prophet in the Bible. She was a very loving, peaceful little girl,” said Ma’Khia’s mother, Paula Bryant. “She was an honor roll student and um, Ma’Khia had a mothery nature about her. She promoted peace and that’s something that I always want to be remembered.”

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I will not be posting the bodycam footage here, but it is readily available for viewing with a quick search on several social media platforms.

The Columbus police officer who shot Ma’Khia Bryant has been supported by those who felt as if he acted heroically yet criticized by people who believe he could have used a Taser or some other method to control the scene. Of course, this case is developing, so information is subject to change as time progresses.

I send my sincerest condolences to all who are loved ones of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. She shouldn’t have died today, and I stand on the side of activists fighting for justice. She is our sister, and her life matters.

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