May 17, 2021

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Protests erupt in Columbus after officer shoots and kills teenage girl armed with a knife – WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Protesters took to the street to demonstrate against another deadly shooting in which an officer pulled the trigger in Columbus.

Around the same time a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was read Tuesday, a Columbus police officer shot and killed a teenage girl who swung at two people with a knife.

Police body camera video of shooting in Columbus, April 20, 2021

There are conflicting reports of whether the girl was 15 or 16.

Hours after the shooting, city leaders released body camera footage from the officer.

(Click here to watch the video. WARNING: Video is graphic)

The clip shows the officer getting out of his patrol car at a house.

Officers had been called to the scene on a report of someone who said they were physically threatened, according to Interim Police Chief Michael Woods.

You can see a group of people in the driveway.

The teen swings a knife at another young woman as the officer shouts to get down.

Police body camera video of shooting in Columbus, April 20, 2021

The armed teen is then seen charging toward another young woman.

The officer fires four shots and the teen falls.

You can see a black-handled blade that looks like a kitchen knife on the sidewalk.

“You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!” a man yelled at the officer.

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

According to WCMH, family members at the scene identified her as Ma’Khia Bryant.

Franklin County Children Services said Bryant was 16 and a foster child.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said the girl was 15.

“I’m not just the mayor. I’m a father. The city of Columbus lost a 15-year-old girl today,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he continued.

“They’re trained to de-escalate so they need to start de-escalating when it comes to Black people because we’re not a threat, we’re scared for our lives,” one demonstrator said.

Columbus protest, Ma’Khia Bryant

Protesters chanted Ma’Khia’s name with fists up and marched the streets downtown.

There are no reports of arrests or damage from the protests.

“No matter what the circumstances, that family is in agony, and they are in my prayers. They deserve answers. Our city deserves answers. I want answers. But fast, quick answers cannot come at the cost of accurate answers,” said Pettus.

“If an officer has violated policy or the law, if they have, they will be held accountable,” he said.

Woods said state law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance.

The shooting happened less than 5 miles from where the funeral for Andre Hill was held earlier this year.

Hill was killed by a Columbus police officer in December.

The officer in Hill’s case, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is now facing trial for murder.

Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus.

The case remains under federal investigation.

Last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.

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