A teenage girl was fatally shot by police in Ohio Tuesday afternoon, minutes before a judge announced that a jury found former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the the killing of George Floyd.
The Columbus Division of Police dispatched officers at 4:36 p.m. after a 911 caller said someone was trying to stab and fight them. Officers arrived at 4:44 p.m., and a body-worn camera from the first officer at the scene shows a group of people, including several teen girls, standing outside a house.
As the officer asked what was going on, one girl pushed another to the ground, then pushed another against a car. At a news conference Tuesday night, interim police chief Michael Woods showed a slowed-down version of some of the footage. In it, a knife is visible in the girl’s hand.
The officer yelled “get down, get down” multiple times, then fired four gunshots — just 10 seconds after he got out of his police car.
The girl slumped to the ground, and the people around her erupted in screams.
“Is she shot?” one woman cried.
“She had a knife,” the officer said.
“She’s a fucking kid, man,” a man replied.
Family members identified the girl who was killed as Ma’Khia or Makiyah Bryant, who was 15 or 16; relatives provided different ages and spellings for the girl’s name. Police declined to officially identify her Tuesday night, saying they wanted to ensure all next-of-kin were notified beforehand.
A woman who identified herself as the girl’s aunt, Hazel Bryant, told reporters earlier in the evening that her niece lived in a foster home and got into an altercation with someone else at the house, the Dispatch reported. According to the Daily Beast, the girl’s aunt said the teen called police, as well as her father and grandmother, for help and grabbed a knife to defend herself.
She said her niece dropped it before an officer shot her multiple times.
“She was a good kid. She was loving,” Hazel Bryant said. “Yeah, she had issues but that’s OK. All of us go through shit. … She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”
The girl’s mother Paula Bryant told reporters her daughter was an honor-roll student and a sweet kid.
Video shared on social media showed a person wearing jeans and brightly colored shoes lying in the street at the feet of a police officer.
Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now conducting a criminal investigation into what happened. Once that concludes, Woods said his department will also review officers’ actions at the scene.
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene to express their outrage over the shooting.
Holding a sign saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” Malissa Thomas-St. Clair, founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, explained to a Spectrum News 1 Ohio reporter the whiplash of emotions she felt learning of the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial, then of the killing of another person at the hands of police.
“It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there’s maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating,” Thomas-St. Clair said.
A crowd also gathered outside the city’s police headquarters Tuesday evening and chanted Bryant’s name.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.
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