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New Details Out in Ma'Khia Bryant Shooting

Officer Nicholas Reardon shot teenager 10 seconds after arriving on scene
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2021 8:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – The police officer who fatally shot a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday has been identified as Nicholas Reardon, a white officer who has been with the force for a little over a year, after joining in December 2019. He's been placed on administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigates, reports the Washington Post. Body camera footage shows Reardon shot Ma'Khia Bryant, a black teenager, 10 seconds after arriving on the scene of a disturbance. Ma'Khia is shown charging one person, who falls to the ground, then pinning another person against a car, apparently while holding a knife. Reardon yells, "Get down!" multiple times before firing four shots. "She had a knife. She just went at her," he adds, per NPR. "She's a f---ing kid, man!" a bystander responds. "Damn, are you stupid?" Police also released two 911 calls. In one, the caller describes a person "trying to stab us," per the Post.

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"I wish to hell it hadn't happened," interim police chief Michael Woods told reporters. Kiara Yakita, founder of the Black Liberation Movement Central Ohio, questioned why Reardon didn't do more to de-escalate the situation. "Law enforcement and city officials are rushing to make excuses because she had a knife," she tells the Post. But "as soon as [Reardon] got out of the car, he had the gun ready to shoot somebody." There are also unproven claims that officers said "blue lives matter" after the shooting, which drew protests. While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the investigation must "play out," he also said the country "must learn from the tragic death of George Floyd." He added a bill compiled with state Rep. Phil Plummer, a former sheriff, would require independent investigations of "critical incidents" involving police, create a "peace officer oversight board," and establish central use-of-force and officer discipline databases. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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