Police kill Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, who attacked 2 with knife
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Body camera video shows a Columbus officer fatally shoot a Black teenage girl who swung at two other people with a knife. Many people believe the Columbus police officer saved the other girl’s life.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said state law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance. Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now reviewing the killing following an agreement with the city last summer for all police shootings to be handled by the independent investigators under Attorney General Dave Yost’s office.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther mourned the loss of the young victim but defended the officer’s use of deadly force.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he told reporters.
A black-handled blade resembling a kitchen knife or steak knife appeared to be lying on the sidewalk next to her immediately after she was shot and fell.
The girl was identified as 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, according to Franklin County Children Services, which said in a release that she was under the care of the agency at the time of her death.
Police say Bryant was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. It’s unclear if anyone else was injured.
The quick release of the footage is a departure from police protocol but comes amid heightened tension between Columbus police and the community they serve.