Columbus police officer fatally shoots Black teenage girl

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Ivana Saric
·2 min read
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The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the fatal police shooting of a Black teenage girl in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon.

The big picture: The shooting of the girl, identified by family members as Ma'Khia Bryant, 16, occurred just before the verdict was announced in the Minneapolis murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, and as the nation grapples with police reform.

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  • Community members gathered at the scene into the night, some shouting "enough is enough," according to local news reports.

  • Mayor Andrew Ginther urged residents in a Twitter post "to remain calm" and allow investigators to "gather the facts."

Details: Law enforcement responded to reports of a disturbance about 4:45 p.m., police said.

  • The Columbus Division of Police released bodycam footage at a Tuesday night news briefing they said indicated a girl was trying to stab two people with a knife before she was shot. She was transported to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

  • Police did not name the officer involved in the shooting but said he had been "taken off the streets."

  • Ginther said at the briefing, "We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community."

For the record: Hazel Bryant, who identified herself to media as the teenager's aunt, said her "niece had a knife, but maintained that the girl dropped" it before she was shot "multiple times" by the officer, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

  • Franklin County Children's Services told the New York Times the teenager "had been in foster care" when the shooting happened.

What they're saying: City of Columbus public safety director Ned Pettus said at the briefing that "no matter what the circumstances," a family was "in agony."

  • "They deserve answers, our city deserves answers, I want answers," he added. "But fast, quick answers cannot come at the cost of accurate answers."

  • Ben Crump, the attorney for the family of George Floyd, who was killed by Chauvin, tweeted: "As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting. ... Another child lost! Another hashtag."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from the briefing and comment from the Franklin County Children's Services.

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