At 4:32 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, a caller told Columbus, Ohio police that “females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them,” Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Woods informed reporters on Tuesday night.
Police arrived to the scene twelve minutes later and body camera footage of the officer who eventually shot the girl shows him approaching several people in the driveway of a suburban home. (A video of this footage along with a recording of the news conference is provided below.)
Sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant is seen attempting to stab another girl who then falls to the ground. It’s not clear if she had been injured.
As the officer advances, he shouts, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, Get down!” His footage shows Bryant, still holding the knife, moving toward a second girl.
The officer shouts, “Get Down! Get down! Get down! Get down!” He fires four shots at Bryant.
According to ABC News, Bryant was transported to the hospital in critical condition and “pronounced dead just before 5:30 p.m.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation quickly began a probe into the incident as is protocol for any police-involved shooting.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther issued the following statement on Tuesday evening and spoke at the news conference held afterward.
— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings. We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts.
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) April 20, 2021
Ginther told reporters, “We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. … But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home.”
(Note: Police initially reported that Ma’Khia was 15-years-old. According to ABC News, Franklin County Children Services later said she was 16.)
Woods said the officer had been taken “off the street” until all of the investigations and reviews are completed.
According to a February report in the The Columbus Dispatch, “a new study shows Franklin County has one of the highest rates of fatal law enforcement shootings in Ohio and is among the highest in the nation.”
This incident happened shortly before a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all charges against him.
Predictably, Black Lives Matter and the media quickly sprung into action. The Columbus Dispatch reported:
Protesters with Black Lives Matter signs, megaphones and a loudspeaker joined the crowd gathered behind crime scene tape about a half-block away from the shooting scene. About 50 people had gathered by 8:30 p.m.
“We don’t get to celebrate nothing,” K.C. Taynor said through a megaphone of the Chauvin verdict. “…In the end, you know what, you can’t be Black.”
Kiara Yakita, founder of the Black Liberation Movement Central Ohio, said she is not surprised that another police shooting happened. “Why did they kill this baby?” she asked aloud.
Mike Fair, 63, of the East Side, brought an amplifier and a microphone to the scene, and expressed his anger, suggesting “there should be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
None of us know exactly what happened on Tuesday afternoon. Nor do we know anything about the events that led to Bryant’s death. The officer’s body camera footage shows Bryant, “the baby,” trying to stab two girls with a knife.
Based on the initial call to the police, she had tried to stab others. We have no idea what took place in the twelve minutes before the police arrived. But she was still holding the knife when they arrived, so no one had been able to subdue her in between.
Additionally, the caller said “females” – plural. Was there another young woman with a knife?
But, who needs facts? Much better to rush in, Al Sharpton-style.
With the George Floyd case now concluded (at least for the time being), the left will need a new victim to fill the void. Will it be Ma’Khia Bryant?
Would any sane American sign up to be a cop in this political climate?