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16-year black girl shot dead by Columbus police

16-year black girl shot dead by Columbus police

16-year black girl shot dead by Columbus police

A police officer in the US state of Ohio has shot dead a 16-year-old black girl

while responding to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.

The teenager involved in the incident, in the state capital Columbus,

has been identified as Ma’Khia Bryant. Columbus police have produced

bodycam footage which appears to show the girl attacking others

with a knife before being shot. An inquiry is under way,

with officials urging local residents to remain calm.

The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Police were called to an address in a south-eastern area of Columbus

at about 16:45 local time (20:45 GMT) on Tuesday,

the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported.

Bodycam footage provided by the police shows an altercation with

a group of individuals outside a house before one of them said to be

Ma’Khia Bryant appears to lunge at another member of the group with a knife in hand.

A police officer then approaches the group in the driveway and shouts

“get down” before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.

The officer is heard saying in the footage: “She had a knife, she just

went at her.” A bystander shouts that she was just a child.

Officials have said the officer opened fire in order to save the life of one

of the girls. A woman identified in local media as Ms Bryant’s aunt said her

niece was simply defending herself after being attacked.

 16-year black girl shot dead by Columbus police
16-year black girl shot dead by Columbus police
Hazel Bryant was quoted by local TV station WSYX-TV as saying:

“She was a good kid. Yeah, she had issues, but that’s OK.

She didn’t deserve to die like a dog on the street.”

Speaking to local broadcaster WBNS-TV, Ma’Khia Bryant’s mother,

Paula Bryant, said she was “hurt” by what had happened and that

her daughter was a “loving girl”. “This shouldn’t have happened,”

she said, adding: “I want answers.”


Paula Bryant said her daughter, who had been staying at a foster home,

was “looking forward to coming home”.

At a news conference, the interim chief of Columbus Police, Mike Woods,

said an inquiry was being conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“At the conclusion of that investigation, the divisional police will conduct an

administrative review of the actions of this officer and all officers at scene,” he said.

“This is a tragic incident for all involved, but especially for the family of the female.”

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther described it as “horrible, heart-breaking”

and a “tragic day in the city”.

“We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another

young girl in our community  but a family is grieving tonight.”

The White House linked the shooting – which happened about an hour

before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted

of murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd  to “systemic racism”.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a news conference on Wednesday:

“Her death came, as you noted, just as America was hopeful of a step

forward after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin

and the verdict that was reached.

“So our focus is on working to address systemic racism and implicit bias

head-on and, of course, to passing laws and legislation that will put

much-needed reforms into place in police departments around the country.”

Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine

minutes during his arrest last May.

The widely watched footage sparked worldwide protests against racism

and excessive use of force by police.

Protesters gathered in Columbus on Wednesday afternoon near the home

where the girl’s shooting took place.

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