As Derek Chauvin was found guilty for murdering George Floyd, yet another police-involved shooting occurred in Columbus, Ohio. AP News reported that within minutes of Chauvin’s verdict, a cop shot a Black teenager who allegedly charged at two people with a knife.
Reportedly, Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, lived in foster care through Franklin County Children Services, at the time of her death. The AP also stated that officials with the Columbus Division of Police released initial footage of the shooting Tuesday night, mere hours after it happened.
“The 10-second body camera clip begins with the officer, identified Wednesday as Nicholas Reardon, getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone had called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Woods said. It remains unclear who called the police,” The AP said.
More details surface in NBC News’s report. In the news story, it was stated that the body-camera video released on Wednesday showed an officer’s point of view as he pulled his weapon, opened fire, and killed Bryant.
“Reardon drew his weapon as the altercation unfolded, the video showed. Police have said the video shows someone trying to stab a person on the ground, as well as a second person,” NBC News stated. “A person wearing a black T-shirt is seen with an object in her right hand that she raises toward a second person before Reardon fires.”
During the report, NBC News also said that police picked up what appeared to be a knife near Ma’Khia’s body. An officer could be heard commenting that “She had a knife. She just went at her.”
According to NBC News, the case is currently being handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Although Columbus authorities said they will limit their comments, the Interim Police Chief—Michael Woods —told reporters that department policy allows officers to shoot if it is believed that someone’s life is in danger.
Additionally, Newsweek stated that Reardon’s body camera footage played at the press conference on Wednesday where Woods identified Reardon as the policeman who shot Bryant. The footage reportedly showed Reardon approaching the driveway of a residence, where a group of girls were fighting. Bodycam footage from a third officer who showed up on the scene administered CPR to Bryant as observers in the background yelled about the police shooting a kid. After police called a medic to the scene, Bryant was eventually transported to Mount Carmel East hospital.
Newsweek also said that Reardon has been a Columbus police officer since December 2019. Additionally, the officer has been put on paid leave pending an investigation. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will conduct an “independent and transparent investigation” of the shooting, according to the police chief. Newsweek added that the BCI will then share its investigatory findings with the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.