Ira L. Black/Corbis, Getty Images
On Tuesday night, Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl, was fatally shot by police in Columbus, Ohio. The shooting happened just minutes before the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin was announced, declaring the former officer guilty on all three charges for killing George Floyd. Just hours after Bryant was shot, officials with the Columbus Division of Police released a segment of the bodycam footage.
According to Los Angeles-based news platform KTLA, "the decision to swiftly release the video was a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings." In the footage, Bryant appears to attempt to swing at two people with a knife, before the officer shot at her four times. According to local Columbus news, the teen was then taken to Mount Carmel East in critical condition where she was later pronounced dead.
A crowd quickly gathered around the neighborhood to protest the shooting. While there is limited information on the incident, a local reporter shared updates at the scene throughout the night. While some originally said Ma'Khia was 15, family later confirmed she was 16 and also said she was the one who called for help "because girls were fighting outside her house."
"I'm very upset, I'm hurt, I want answers," Bryant's mother, Paula, told reporters. "My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today."
According to reports, the teenager was staying at a foster home at the time and her mother said the two last saw each other on Thursday. "We hugged each other. She said 'Mommy, I made honor roll.' She said 'Mommy, I'm looking forward to coming home,'" Paula said, telling reporters that she was hoping to bring Ma'Khia and her other daughter to her house soon.
As Ma'Khia Bryant's name becomes more publicized, her mother wants people to know that she was a "loving, peaceful" girl.
"Ma'Khia had a motherly nature about her," she said. "She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered."
Twitter user @itsasiiiaaa_ tweeted out and video of her and Bryant dancing to music. "This is my foster sister Ma'Khia," she wrote. "I want her to be remembered as the sweet full of life young girl she was, not as what people are painting her out to be. I refuse for her to be painted as anything but the amazing girl she was."
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented George Floyd's family and was recently hired to represent Daunte Wright's family, also tweeted about the devastating news of Bryant's death.
"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," he wrote. "Another child lost! Another hashtag."
We are still waiting for more details on the shooting and information on how to best help Bryant's family.