The Columbus Division of Police held a late-night press conference on Tuesday to release the body camera footage from the officer who shot and killed a 16-year-old girl after responding to a disturbance call. The footage showed the girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, was about to stab another girl with a knife when the officer fired his weapon.
Video shows the officer arriving on the scene at a house and began asking people nearby what was happening. Then Bryant and a few other girls came out front fighting each other. The officer can be heard yelling at everyone to "Get down!" while drawing his handgun. Bryant can be seen holding a knife in her hand and about to stab a girl when the officer fires multiple times, hitting just her.
Officers gave Bryant first aid and threw the knife away from her body. The incident occurred around the same time a jury announced it had found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Calling the incident "tragic," Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said, "We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community." Bryant's family maintains she had the knife to protect herself from the group of people who were attacking her.
“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace,” said the 16 year-old girl’s mother, Paula. pic.twitter.com/vhBauZn3Kc— Lacey Crisp (@LaceyCrisp) April 21, 2021
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, with the officer who shot Bryant being taken off the street. The news of the shooting sparked outrage on social media while people were celebrating the outcome of the Chauvin trial. BLM protesters showed up at the scene shortly after the shooting.
Family tells us the person who was fatally shot by @ColumbusPolice was 15 year-old Makiah Bryant. They say she called cops for help because girls were fighting outside her house. pic.twitter.com/g2eayG2MHW— Lacey Crisp (@LaceyCrisp) April 20, 2021
language is so telling.— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) April 21, 2021
"young woman" she was 15.
"lost her life" her life was taken. https://t.co/hJLCFYgh8E
As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting as @ColumbusPolice killed an unarmed 15yo Black girl named Makiyah Bryant. Another child lost! Another hashtag. ???????#JusticeForMakiyahBryant https://t.co/9ssR5gfqm5— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 21, 2021
She’s not a “young woman.” She’s a child. And she didn’t “lose her life.” The police killed her. The police killed a 15 year old child. Say it. Own it. https://t.co/u001ueLQTs— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) April 21, 2021
WARNING. How in the hell does this police officer think it’s a good idea to fire shots blindly into a group of teenagers having a fight. Yes one of them has a knife. Oh, that never happened in your school or neighborhood? She didn’t deserve to die. 16 years old. #makhiabryant https://t.co/hnimSwnG7s— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 21, 2021