On Tuesday evening Columbus, Ohio police released bodycam footage of an officer fatally shooting Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year old Columbus resident. Earlier that afternoon, officers responded to a call on the city’s southeast side. According to the city’s Interim Chief Michael Woods, the caller reported that multiple girls were trying to stab them. Bryant’s mother Paula, however, told a local CBS affiliate that her daughter called the police for help because a group of girls were fighting outside of her home.
“My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection,” she told WBNS, “not to be a homicide today.”
In a press conference Woods said that it is unusual to release footage so quickly, saying “we understand the public’s need, desire and expectation to have transparency.” The names of the officers who responded to the scene have not been revealed as of yet. Word quickly spread, as the incident occurred around the same time as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was announced.
Protesters gathered in downtown Columbus after the shooting.
The mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, said the shooting was a “horrible, heartbreaking situation,” adding that “We know from this footage that the officer took action to protect another young girl in the community.”
Woods said that “medics were called right away,” and that EMS workers administered CPR, however that was not shown in the bodycam footage. Woods says that the full video would be released after the appropriate “redaction process” mandated by public records laws.
At the moment, the officer who killed Bryant will be “taken off the street.” The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting. After their investigation is complete, “the divisional police will conduct an administrative review of the actions of this officer and all officers at the scene.”
Stay tuned for further updates on the case.
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