38 others have been killed by police in county where Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot

·3 min read
Hazel Bryant talks to the media after her niece Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio on April 20, 2021.  (REUTERS)
Hazel Bryant talks to the media after her niece Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio on April 20, 2021. (REUTERS)

Franklin County in Ohio, where black 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by police on Tuesday, saw 38 deaths involving law enforcement between January 2015 and December 2020.

The county, which encompasses the state capital Columbus, has one of the highest rates of deadly police shootings in the country at 4.81 per million residents.

The county has the highest rate in the state of Ohio and the 18th highest rate of the 100 most populous counties in the US, according to a February study released by The Ohio Alliance for innovation in population health. More than 1.3 million people live in Franklin County, according to the US Census Bureau.

Ma’Khia was killed around 20 minutes before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, prompting protests at the scene of her death.

Officers were called to a disturbance on the southeast side of Columbus on Tuesday following reports of an attempted stabbing. Bodycam footage from the police officer who killed the 16-year-old was released on Tuesday evening.

Police were met with a chaotic scene of numerous people on the front lawn where the teen in question was brandishing a knife and charged toward one female who fell backwards, then lunged at a second female.

The video showed the second victim stumbling backwards against a car parked in the driveway as the girl raises the knife as if about to stab her, and an officer discharges their weapon.

The Ohio Alliance determined that the rate of black people being killed in the state is 339 per cent higher than that of white people. They used a database from The Washington Post to come to the conclusion.

The rate for black people killed by police is 6.96 per million each year, while that same number for white people is 1.59 per million.

Franklin County is home to around 20 per cent of the state’s Black population, but 33 per cent of deadly police shootings take place in the county, according to the data.

The most deadly county in the United States when it comes to police shootings is Bernalillo County, encompassing Albuquerque in New Mexico. The county was home to more than 679,000 people in 2019, data from the Census Bureau shows.

The average number of people killed in Bernalillo county from 2015 to 2020 was 9.82 people per million residents. The second-highest rate could be found in Jackson, Montana at 8.77 people per million each year. Denver, Colorado was the third-highest county on the list, with a rate of 8.25 people killed annually.

Ma’Khia was shot less than five miles from where the funeral of Andre Hill was held. Mr Hill was a 42-year-old black man who was shot and killed by white officer Adam Coy on 22 December 2020. Mr Coy has been charged with murder.

Less than three weeks before the death of Mr Hill, 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr was shot and killed in Columbus by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy. The case is under federal investigation.