By Gaelen Morse
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) – State investigators in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday are investigating police shooting and killing a black teen girl in a confrontation captured on footage footage she threw a knife at the two of them.
Tuesday’s incident sparked street protests in Ohio’s largest city after a juror in Minneapolis convicted a former white policeman there that killed George Floyd last year by kneeling pillow against his neck.
Authorities refused to name the girl. But Franklin County Family and Child Services family members have identified her as 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.
The officer shooting was not identified but appeared from the video in white. The sheriff said he “will be taken to the streets” pending investigation.
In a rare move, Columbus police released full-body camera video of the shooting on Tuesday hours after it happened.
Interim police chief, Michael Woods, said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) had opened an investigation into the incident, which began when police responded at 4:44 pm ET (2044 GMT) to a 911-emergency call from someone who reported an attempt to crash into a house southeast of the city.
An Ohio BCI spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that an investigation is underway.
“She’s a good kid, she loves so much,” Hazel Bryant, who claims to be Ma’Khia’s aunt, told reporters Tuesday, according to a video posted on Twitter. “She didn’t deserve to die like a dog on the street,” Bryant said.
Bryant, who was not immediately contacted on Wednesday, told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper that the teenager lived in a foster home and engaged in a scuffle with someone at the mansion.
The Franklin County Child Services Agency said in a statement posted on Twitter that Ma’Khia was an adopted child in the agency’s care. Child Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Woods said the video of Bryant trying to stab both women, was made public within hours of the incident for transparency purposes.
In the video, the police come to see some chaos on the front lawn, where Bryant, swinging a knife, rushes towards a falling back, and then crashes into a second person.
The slow-motion video showed the second victim stumbling backwards in front of a parked car on the driveway as Bryant raised his weapon as if trying to stab her, and an officer opened fire.
Bryant immediately collapsed against the parked car and fell to the ground, and the weapon, apparently a kitchen knife, was seen lying on the sidewalk near her as an officer bent beside her for support. medical aid.
Around the time the video was released, live TV news reported increasing crowds on the city streets after dark, confronting a small row of police biking.
The protests emerged from media coverage for peaceful purposes, with protesters repeatedly chanting the girl’s name.
The city’s public safety director, Ned Pettus, Jr., called for calm on Tuesday as an investigation proceeded and the truth was uncovered in what he called “a grave damage. “about human life.
Pettus said in a late press conference with the Sheriff and Mayor Andrew Ginther: “Quick, quick answers cannot come at the cost of correct answers. “BCI will conduct a completely independent investigation, this investigation will be made public. If an officer has violated the policy or the law, if they do, they will be held accountable.”
Ginther said appearing from the initial assessment of the footage that the shooting policeman “acted to protect another young girl in our community.”
“But another young lady is still not coming home tonight,” he said. “I ask everyone to pray for peace. Tonight, we pray for this family, we pray for this city, and we pray for our neighbors.”