[Follow the newest developments from the investigation into the deadly capturing of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio.]
A teenage lady who the police say threatened two ladies with a knife was fatally shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon, shortly earlier than a jury reached a responsible verdict in the homicide trial of the previous Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in final yr’s killing of George Floyd.
The lady’s demise solid a direct pall over public expressions that justice had been served in Mr. Floyd’s case and touched off protests in Ohio’s capital metropolis.
At a information convention on Tuesday evening, the Columbus Division of Police launched physique digicam footage from the officer, who officers mentioned had been responding to a 911 name about an tried stabbing round four:45 p.m. in the southeastern a part of the town.
The video confirmed an officer’s view whereas approaching a chaotic altercation in a driveway involving no less than 4 folks, asking “What’s going on?” Played in gradual movement, the footage confirmed an individual in a black shirt lunging first at somebody who fell to the bottom, then transferring with what seemed to be a knife towards somebody in pink cowering by a parked automotive. The officer shouted “get down!” repeatedly and pulled a gun out, firing 4 photographs on the teenager. She collapsed to the bottom close to the automotive, dropping the weapon.
The lady who was killed was recognized as Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, by a spokeswoman for Franklin County Children’s Services, who said in an email on Tuesday night that Ma’Khia had been in foster care.
“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 during the news conference. “They deserve answers. Our city deserves answers. I want answers, but fast, quick answers cannot come at the cost of accurate answers.”
The name of the officer, who officials said has been taken off the street while the shooting is investigated, was not released. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct an independent inquiry, which local officials said is standard whenever an officer shoots someone. Earlier on Tuesday night on Twitter, Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus urged residents to keep the peace as protesters descended on the scene while the authorities reviewed the bodycam footage that was later released.
“This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life,” the mayor said on Twitter. “We do not know all of the details.”
A woman interviewed by The Columbus Dispatch identified the victim, who was Black, as her teenage niece. The woman, Hazel Bryant, told the newspaper that her niece lived in a foster home and got into an altercation with someone else at the home.
The timing and circumstances of the shooting unnerved people in the neighborhood. Rayshawn Whiting said in an interview on Tuesday night that he was planning to watch the Chauvin verdict at his brother’s house just a few blocks away when he heard the gunshots. When he saw on social media what was going on, he walked down the street to join the throng of protesters who reached between 150 and 200 people at their peak.
“I’ve got daughters,” he said. “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.”
Chris Roberts said in an interview that he was in his backyard with his twin daughters when he heard the gunshots from just a few yards away. He said they ran in the house and called 911. Since the shooting, he said, his daughters did not want to be alone.
“How do I teach my daughters when you call for help, and you expect help to come, you could be on the other side of the gun?” he said.
A crowd of protesters gathered outside the city’s police building, local news media reported.
The teenager’s death quickly received widespread attention, including from Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, amid a continuing reckoning over police accountability and systemic racism.
“As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting” Mr. Crump said on Twitter. “Another child lost! Another hashtag.” In the tweet, sent before the footage was released, Mr. Crump incorrectly described her as “unarmed.”
Earlier Tuesday night, when members of the Columbus City Council were discussing the need for a civilian review board for police accountability, Shannon Hardin, the council’s president, addressed the shooting.
“As we watched the verdict from Minneapolis many talked about a sigh of relief, but there is a truth that for so many in our community there is no relief,” Mr. Hardin said. “This is not right. It’s not OK, and it can’t continue on.”
Michael Woods, the interim police chief of Columbus, said at the news conference later Tuesday night that it was unprecedented in the city for body camera footage to be released so quickly after a shooting by an officer.
“We wanted to get that out as soon as possible,” he said.
Columbus has been gripped by tension over police shootings since early December, when Casey Goodson Jr., 23, was shot to death at the entrance of his home by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy assigned to a fugitive task force.
Members of the task force had been in the area looking for someone in an operation that had nothing to do with Mr. Goodson.
Two weeks later, Andre Hill, 47, was shot four times by a Columbus police officer who was responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle. When officers arrived to investigate, they encountered Mr. Hill, and one of the officers, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran, opened fire within seconds. Mr. Coy, who was fired after the shooting, was charged with felony murder in the case.
Lucia Walinchus and Lew Serviss contributed reporting, and Jack Begg contributed research.