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Just Before Chauvin Verdict, Columbus Cop Shoots Girl, 16

Bodycam video was quickly released
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2021 2:28 AM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2021 6:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Minutes before the guilty verdicts were announced in Derek Chauvin's trial Tuesday, a Black teen girl was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. Bodycam video was released within hours of the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, Heavy reports, but it is very difficult to watch. Police responded after someone called 911 to report they were being threatened, the AP reports. The video shows a physical altercation involving a number of people; Ma’Khia is shown swinging a knife at one person, then after that person falls to the ground, she charges another person and pins them against a car while apparently still holding the knife, though some say she dropped it before the officer shot. Bystanders in the video can be heard reacting to the shooting, with one man telling the officer, "She's just a kid." A steak knife or kitchen knife fell to the ground next to her body. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

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Details of what led up to the incident are not yet clear, nor is it clear whether anyone else was injured, but Ma’Khia's aunt tells the Dispatch her niece was in foster care and got in a fight with another girl at her foster home. Franklin County Children's Services confirms Ma’Khia was in its care. Hundreds of protesters quickly gathered outside the city's police headquarters. The interim police chief said the law allows an officer to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and that an investigation will be carried out to determine whether that was the case. The mayor appeared to think so, defending the officer's actions to "protect another young girl." Meanwhile, people were sharing TikTok videos showing a happy Ma’Khia using the hashtag #SayHerName, and her mother described her as an honor roll student who called police for help during the fight, 10TV reports. Police, however, have not identified the 911 caller. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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