Columbus police have released the body camera footage of the shooting of a 15-year-old Black girl Ma'Khia Bryant by a police officer just on the Southeast Side just moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts for the 2020 murder of George Floyd. According to reports, the shooting took place just 20 minutes before Chauvin was pronounced guilty and prompted hundreds to protest at the shooting site and Downtown.
An investigation has been launched into the incident, with officials urging local residents to remain calm. The footage shows the Bryant run out of her home with a knife before she is gunned down by a Columbus police officer.
Killed in Broad Daylight
The video shows an officer approaching a driveway with a group of young people standing there. In the video, it appears that Bryant, who was moments later shot by police, holding a knife as she storms out of the home and towards another woman. She swings and pushes at the other woman, who falls to the ground.
Bryant then turns her attention towards another girl who is on the hood of a car and swings the knife at her as the officer opens fire, sending her to the ground. The fatal shooting happened on Legion Lane in Columbus after officers were called there for an attempted stabbing just after 4:30 pm, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The officer can be seen firing his weapon what sounds like four times, striking Bryant, who died a short time later. Officers are then seen looking over Byrant's body. Also, people can be heard immediately screaming in shock and horror as the scene unfolds.
The officer who opened fire hasn't yet been identified. Police Chief Michael Woods said he "would be taken off the street" pending an investigation. However, the incident has left everyone shocked.
Police Brutality Yet Again?
The incident took place just moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges in reference to the murder of George Floyd. Floyd died in the custody of former cop and three other Minneapolis Police Department officers on May 25, 2020.
Bryant's shooting once again raises questions if pronouncing Chauvin guilty is enough to end police brutality and racism in the United States. "It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," said Mayor Andrew J Ginther. "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time" was critical.
Bryant, identified by her mother on social media, was rushed to Mount Carmel East hospital in critical condition following the shooting but was pronounced dead at 5.21pm.
"She was a good kid. She was loving," Hazel Bryant, the girl's aunt, told reporters on the street. "She was 15 years old. She didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street."
Police had been responding to a report of a stabbing before the fatal shooting. A witness said the teen, who Hazel Bryant said lived in a foster home, got into an altercation with another resident of the home and was armed with the knife to defend herself.
Police received a 911 call at 4:35 p.m. about an attempted stabbing on the 3100 block of Legion Lane, which is located north of Chatterton Road. The caller reported a female was trying to stab them, then the caller hung up. Officers responded to the scene and at 4:45 p.m. an officer-involved shooting was reported.
Woods said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) had launched an investigation into the case. He and the city's public safety director, Ned Pettus, Jr., appealed for calm while the investigation proceeds and facts are uncovered in what he called "a devastating" loss of life.