Editors’ note: The video this story links to is disturbing.
Police in Columbus, Ohio, released a bodycam video Tuesday night of the shooting of a teen girl earlier in the day. Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at a press conference that it was unusual for the video to be released so quickly but “we understand the public’s needs, wants and expectations for transparency.”
The girl’s identity was unknown to the police, but her family and Franklin County Children’s Services identified her as 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. Family also told CBS Columbus branch WBNS-TV where Bryant was the one who called the police for help, said people were fighting outside her home.
Police at the press conference were unable to confirm who called 911. Police and city officials also called the victim a 15-year-old young man during the press conference.
Woods said 911 got a call around 4:30 pm “The news was a caller said a woman was trying to stab them and put her hand on them,” Woods said. Video about the shooting is then played, and appears to show the shot victim attacking two others with what appears to be a knife. The policeman opened fire several times while Bryant and another girl were grappling with the side of a parked car. It was not clear what led to the chaos that took place when officers arrived.
The police reacting at the scene, including who shot Bryant, have yet to be identified.
“The doctors were called immediately” and CPR was performed, although that was not shown in the short video, Woods said. Woods said the longer video will be released after it goes through the appropriate “reprocessing” required under the public record law.
“This is a tragedy for all involved, but especially the woman’s family,” Woods said after the video was shown.
Woods said the Ohio Department of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting. When the BCI concludes the investigation, “police division will conduct an administrative review of the actions of this officer and all officers on the scene,” said Woods.
Woods said the officer who killed Bryant would be “taken off the street” while the shooting was investigated. He also said the decision as to whether the officer violated any policy will be made after the criminal investigation is complete and sent to a grand jury.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called the shooting a “gruesome, heartbreaking situation” and said, “We know from this video that the policeman acted to protect another young girl in the community. ”
Woods then noted that “deadly force could be used to protect himself or (to) protect a third person. … Whether or not this complies with that would be part of the fight.” investigate that. “
“We think it’s extremely important to share as much information as possible,” Ginther said. “So we will continue to share footage and other information over the next few hours and days.”
The mayor also asked anyone with more information about what happened prior to the shooting to “share that information with the authorities.”
Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr said, “My heart is broken for my family. Whatever the circumstances, the family is in pain and they are in my prayers. They deserve it. Our city deserves answers. “
However, he emphasized that “quick, quick answers cannot cost the exact same answer.”
Bryant’s mother, Paula Bryant, told Her WBNS is “very annoyed. I’m hurt. I want answers.”
“My daughter sent the Columbus police to protect her from a murder today,” Paula said, tearfully.
Ma’Khia is at home nurturing. Paula said the two last met on Thursday. “We hugged each other. She said ‘Mommy, I’ve done the honor’.” She said, “Mom, I’m looking forward to going home,” Paula said.
“Ma’Khia has a motherly nature in her. She values peace. It’s something I want to always be remembered,” Paula added.
Not long after the shooting, which coincided with the verdict of staying Derek Chauvin’s trial protesters had begun to gather at the scene of the shooting and at the downtown headquarters of the Columbus Police Department.
Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty, who heads the Caucus Black Parliament and has a county that includes parts of Columbus, tweeted that she was “utterly lost at the tragic death of 16-year-old Ma’khia Bryant by Columbus Police. My prayers. To her family and friends. Our community is hurting, has gone through so much pain and deserves better. “
Brian Dakss contributed to the report.