Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was shot and killed by police just moments before Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict. Here’s what you need to know about Ma’Khia and the tragedy itself.
Twenty minutes before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a Black teenage girl was shot and killed by police in Columbus, Ohio. Sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant‘s death came after police responded to a 911 call on April 20 about a potential stabbing in the southeastern part of the city. She was shot four times by police and transported to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Here’s what else you need to know:
Body Cam Footage Shows The Moments Before Ma’Khia’s Death
The officer who shot Ma’Khia turned in their body camera footage after the incident, which the Columbus Division of Police made public. The footage shows a teenager lunging at two other girls with a knife as police arrive on the scene — the driveway of a home. An officer shouts “get down!” repeatedly before drawing their gun and firing four shots at the girl, now identified as Ma’Khia. She collapses to the ground next to a car parked in the driveway, and a knife is shown on the ground.
The officer, whose name has not been released, has been taken off the street while the shooting is being investigated, according to officials. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct an independent inquiry. Hazel Bryant, who identified herself as Ma’Khia’s niece, told The Columbus Dispatch that the teenager was in foster care and had gotten into an altercation with someone at the home.
“No matter what the circumstances, that family is in agony and they are in my prayers,” Ned Pettus Jr., the public safety director for the city of Columbus, said at a news conference. “They deserve answers. Our city deserves answers. I want answers, but fast, quick answers cannot come at the cost of accurate answers.”
Ma’Khia’s Death Sparked Protests Throughout Columbus
After the shooting, hundreds took to the streets of Columbus to protest Ma’Khia’s shooting, holding up signs with her face and vowing to fight for justice. One of the demonstrators, Rayshawn Whiting, told The New York Times, “I’ve got daughters. And I’m tired of it. I feel like a polar bear with the ice caps melting. We have nowhere to run. If we protect ourselves, we go to jail. If we don’t, we die.”
She’s The 3rd Person Fatally Shot By Columbus PD Since December
Casey Goodson Jr., 23, was shot and killed in December by police at the entrance of his home by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy assigned to a fugitive task force. Goodson wasn’t even connected to the case. Two weeks later, a Columbus police officer shot Andre Hill, 47, four times while responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle. The officer, Adam Coy, was fired and charged with felony murder after the shooting.
“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
Ma’Khia’s Mother Called Her A ‘Peaceful Little Girl’
Ma’Khia was named after a prophet in the bible. She was a loving, peaceful little girl,” her mother, Paula, told 10TV. “She was 16 years old, she was an honor roll student. Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. And that’s something that I always want to be remembered.”