Family says 16-year-old girl shot dead by police in Columbus

Laverne Higgins
April 21, 2021

Many demanded police release the body camera footage.

Police said they were responding to a report of an attempted stabbing in the southern part of the city at about 4:30 p.m. local time.

In the video, Makiya Bryant can be seen trying to stab one person who falls to the ground, then turning her attention to another person who she attempts to stab as police order her to get down on the ground.

The officer is later seen tossing a knife away from the girl.

The officer who opened fire was not identified. A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife or steak knife lies on the sidewalk next to her. You ain't gonna have her go out like that.

"She was a good kid". At that moment a female, appearing to be the late teenage girl, attacked another female, holding a knife in her hand after which the officer shot the late 15-year-old four times.

It's unclear whether anyone else was injured.

The shooting happened minutes before the verdict in the killing of George Floyd was announced.

People have gathered in the area in a crowd, including members of a group called "Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children". The crowd of about 100 could be heard chanting outside police headquarters as city officials offered their condolences to the family and acknowledged the rarity of showing bodycam footage so soon after a police shooting.

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Investigators will determine whether the killing complies with state law that says "deadly force can be used to protect yourself or the protection of a third person", Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at a news conference late Tuesday.

"This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life".

In a press conference, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the "officers took action to protect another young girl". Officers pushed back protesters and threatened to use pepper spray on the protesters.

Bryant told the outlet that Makiyah's grandmother and father had filled her in on the events that took place prior to the shooting. While not calling the dead teenager by name, the mayor referred to her as "a 15-year-old". The case remains under federal investigation. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.

A woman identified in the Columbia Dispatch account as the girl's aunt, Hazel Bryant, told the newspaper the teenager lived in a foster home and became involved in an altercation with someone at the residence.

The police shooting in his neighborhood "just brings it home a little closer", he said, and reaffirms his decision to tell his 18-year-old son - who, like Graham, is Black - never to call the police.

Shepherd and her neighbor Jayme Jones, 51, had celebrated the guilty verdict of Chauvin.

"We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn't even enjoy that", Shepherd said. "Because as you're getting one phone call that he was guilty, I'm getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighbourhood".

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