By Serran Soledad
On Tuesday afternoon, Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black teenager, was shot and killed by Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon. Following the shooting, protests erupted, prompting Columbus Police Department to release body camera footage of the fatal shooting that same day.
Responding to a 911 call, Reardon arrived to the scene where a fight between a group of people was taking place. Within eleven seconds of stepping out of his vehicle, he shot Ma’Khia four times.
Body camera footage shows Ma’Khia wielding a knife and chasing two other young women, wrestling with one of them against a parked car. Not once can the officer be heard demanding Ma’Khia drop the weapon before opening fire.
Additional officers can be seen attempting CPR on Ma’Khia, as onlookers reacted in shock and anger. Bryant was transported to a local hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead.
According to family members, Ma’Khia was the one who called 911 out of fear as a group of people fought outside her house. Some reports state Ma’Khia was acting in self defense as members of the group threatened to assault her.
As protests broke out across Ohio following news of the shooting, the Columbus Police Department rushed to release a snippet of body-cam footage to the public on Tuesday night, a rare action that points to the state’s attempts to control the narrative in order to justify another killing at the hands of its armed guards.
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