A 16-year-old girl was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer just as Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd.
Ma’Khia Bryant’s mother, Paula Bryant, confirmed her identity with a local news reporter. She was shot and killed by a police officer in southeast Columbus April 20 after officers were called to her home just after 4:30 p.m. for a disturbance.
Family said it was Bryant who called the police because girls were fighting outside their house. What prompted an officer to shoot the teenager remains unclear but she was taken to Mount Carmel East in critical condition, where she died.
According to the New York Times, Ma’Khia Bryant lived in a foster home and got into an altercation with another person at the home. The teen reportedly had a knife but her aunt, Hazel Bryant, said her niece dropped the weapon before she was shot multiple times.
Ma’Khia’s mother said her daughter was a “very loving, peaceful little girl” who was a honor roll student.
“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace and that’s something I always want to be remembered,” said Paula Bryant.
In a statement, Mayor Andrew Ginther said “a young woman tragically lost her life” and that cops were wearing body-cameras. “We do not know all of the details,” Ginther said before asking people to “remain calm” pending an investigation to gather additional details.
“There is body-worn camera footage of the incident. We are working to review it as soon as possible. BCI is on the scene conducting an independent investigation,” the mayor tweeted, adding, “— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings.” Ginther continued, “We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts.”
Shortly after word spread of the officer-involved shooting of a Black teenager, protesters gathered in the area. Videos show community members outraged at police.
Bryant’s aunt described her niece as a “good kid.”
“You ain’t going to have my niece go out like that. Either you report the truth or you don’t report nothing,” she told reporters. “She was a good kid. She was loving. Yeah she had issues, but that’s okay. All of us go through sh*t. She was 15 mother f**king years old. She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”