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16-Year-Old Ma’Khia Bryant Fatally Shot By Columbus, Ohio Police After Calling For Help

16-Year-Old Ma’Khia Bryant Fatally Shot By Columbus, Ohio Police After Calling For Help

Photo courtesy: Scott Olson / Staff

The bodycam video from the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant surfaced Tuesday night. 

The Interim police chief of the Columbus, Ohio police department Michael Woods felt releasing the footage early for public was necessary and expressed his thoughts during a press conference.

“We understand the public’s need, desire and expectation to have transparency.”

CBS News reported the police did not identify the girl, but the Franklin County Children Services confirmed with family she was Ma’Khia Bryant and 16 years of age. Family say Bryant was the one who called police for help, saying there was a group of people fighting outside her house. This however was not revealed or confirmed by police, and they also referred to Ma’Khia as a 15-year-old throughout their press conference.

The police received a call at 4:30 p.m., 30 minutes prior to the announcement of Derek Chauvin’s verdict. “The information was that a caller said a female was there trying to stab them and put their hands on them,” Woods said. Video of the shooting was played and displayed the victim attacking two other people with what appeared to be a knife. The officer fired four times while Bryant and another girl fought against the side of a car that was parked. “This is a tragedy for all involved, but especially the family of the female,” Woods said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident and when they are finished, “the divisional police will conduct an administrative review of the actions of this officer and all officers at the scene,” Woods said. The officer who was not identified will be taken off the streets during the investigation, and at this time, they will also decide whether the officer was in violation of any policy. The Mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, referred to the incident as a “horrible, heartbreaking situation” and said, “We know from this footage that the officer took action to protect another young girl in the community.”

Ma’Khia’s mother Paula Bryant wants answers and in a brief interview with WBNS, CBS sister station, she expressed her anger. “My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today,” Paula said. Ma’Khia was in foster care and had just saw her mother the week prior. “We hugged each other. She said, ‘Mommy, I made honor roll.” “Ma’Khia promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered,” says Paula.