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What we know about the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting

A Black teenage girl who police say threatened two girls with a knife was fatally shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio

Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, about the Tuesday fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, as she swung a knife at two other people in Columbus, Ohio.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press

A Black teenage girl who police say threatened two girls with a knife was fatally shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, the New York Times reported. The incident happened shortly before a guilty verdict was read in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

What happened to Ma’Khia Bryant?

  • On Tuesday, a police officer responded to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing in Columbus.
  • Body camera footage released by Columbus police shows the officer approaching an altercation in a driveway. In the video, which contains graphic content, Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, appears to lunge at a person who then falls to the ground, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
  • Bryant then appears to swing a knife at another person, prompting the officer to shout “get down!” multiple times and pull out a gun. The video shows the officer firing four shots at the teenager, the New York Times reported. Bryant died a short time later, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
  • “It’s a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It’s a horrible, heartbreaking situation,” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said in a statement, according to The Columbus Dispatch. ”We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time.”
  • During a press conference on Tuesday night, the Columbus Police Department showed the camera footage in slow-motion. Interim Chief of Police Michael Woods said the video shows Bryant holding a knife as she pushes two girls, adding that police believe she was attempting to stab both girls, NPR reported.
  • In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Bryant’s aunt, Hazel Bryant, said her niece lived in a nearby foster home and had gotten into an altercation with another person at the home; she said her niece dropped the knife before being shot.
  • On Wednesday, police identified the officer who fired the shots as Nicholas Reardon, who was hired in December 2019, CNN reported. Reardon has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
  • “I’m very upset, I’m hurt. I want answers,” Ma’Khia Bryant’s mother, Paula Bryant, told 10TV. “My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection — not to be a homicide today.”
  • “Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace,” she continued. “That is something that I want to always be remembered.”
  • Columbus police released additional body camera footage on Wednesday, CNN reported.

Outcry follows Ma’Khia Bryant’s death

  • On Tuesday, news of Bryant’s death quickly spread as Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd.
  • “As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting,” Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, said in a statement, according to the New York Times. “Another child lost! Another hashtag.”