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White House Describes Ma'Khia Bryant Being Shot Dead By Police As 'Tragic'

White House Describes Ma'Khia Bryant Being Shot Dead By Police As 'Tragic'

Officials have released bodycam footage of the moment Ma'Khia Bryant was shot up to four times.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Officials are calling for calm after a 16-year-old black girl was shot dead by police in Ohio.

On the same day Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, police were called to break up a disturbance in the city of Columbus.

A 911 call was placed at 4:32pm, with a woman saying people were trying to fight and stab her and others.

Within 10 minutes, officers arrived and found Ma'Khia Bryant and two other females involved in a brawl and the teenager was holding a knife.

The 16-year-old's aunt, Hazel, said Bryant was the one who called police for her protection and had the blade on her as defence against the two other women.

However, the situation escalated and officer Nicholas Reardon fired several shots towards Bryant.


Bodycam footage shows one person at the scene tell the officer 'she's a f**king kid, damn are you stupid' before he replies with: "She came at her with a knife."

Police at the scene quickly rushed to provide medical assistance however Ma'Khia was later pronounced dead.

The footage from the officers' body cameras reveal the situation happened rapidly.

The shots rang out just as Ma'Khia charged a woman dressed in pink with the knife in her right hand. The woman in pink turned to the side as she feared she was about to be stabbed.

It wasn't long before protestors gathered at the shooting scene as well as in downtown Columbus.


Police Chief Michael Woods told a press conference an investigation is underway.

He said if an officer is 'faced with someone employing deadly force, deadly force can be the response'.

The police leader was asked why a taser might not have been more appropriate.

He replied: "If there's not deadly force being perpetrated on someone else at that time, an officer may have the opportunity to have cover distance and time to use a Taser.

"But if those things are not present, and there's an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life, the officer can use their firearm to protect that third person."

Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods.

Department of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. added: "I understand the outrage and the emotion about this incident. The video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause."

US President Joe Biden has been briefed about the situation, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

"The killing of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant by the Columbus Police is tragic. She was a child," Ms Psaki said in her daily briefing.

"We are thinking of her friends and family, and the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss."

Police have been praised for releasing the bodycam footage as well as the 911 call in such a timely manner.

Cedit: PA
Cedit: PA

While Ohio's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine wants to wait for the investigation to find out all the facts, he admits it's a tragedy to see another life lost.

"You cannot get over the fact that you have a teenager who's dead and that's a horrible, horrible tragedy," DeWine said.

"We have to look at the facts. We should have enough compassion to worry about every child who is shot in our cities. And we should not accept it."

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther added: "We don't yet have all of the facts but we do know that a 16-year-old girl, a child of this community, tragically died last night.

"Bottom line: Did Ma'Khia Bryant need to die yesterday? How did we get here? This is a failure on the part of our community. Some are guilty but all of us are responsible."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, US News