Columbus Officer Who Killed 16-Year-Old Ma'Khia Bryant Identified

Written by on April 21, 2021

Officers in Columbus, Ohio, have recognized the police officer who, on Tuesday afternoon, fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black lady.

Michael Woods, the interim police chief of the Columbus Police Division, stated at a press convention on Wednesday that Nicholas Reardon, a white officer who joined the division in December 2019, had fired 4 pictures at Ma’Khia, killing her. 

In line with The Day by day Beast, Reardon is a U.S. Air Nationwide Guardsman who was as soon as acknowledged for his knowledgeable marksmanship. 

Woods stated Ma’Khia appeared to have threatened two different ladies with a knife earlier than Reardon fired his weapon. The interim chief famous that an officer can use lethal pressure to guard themselves or one other individual.

But it remained unclear, Woods added, whether or not Reardon was justified in his use of deadly pressure. He stated the officer had been taken off avenue obligation because the Ohio Bureau of Legal Investigation conducts an unbiased probe into the taking pictures.

Ma’Khia’s kin and group members have questioned the police division’s characterization of her killing.

In physique digital camera footage of the taking pictures, an officer recognized as Reardon will be seen rising from his car to come across a confrontation on a residential avenue. Ma’Khia seems to lunge at one individual, who falls to the bottom. She then turns towards a second individual and takes a swipe at her, a knife briefly seen in her hand. 

Reardon fires his gun at Ma’Khia, who topples to the bottom and stays nonetheless. One other officer approaches Ma’Khia to render help. A small knife is seen on the bottom subsequent to her physique.

Shouts and cries will be heard from witnesses on the scene. One individual shouts, “She’s a fucking child, man!” 

Ma’Khia, who her household stated was a “candy” and “loving” honor roll pupil, died on the hospital shortly earlier than 5:30 p.m. native time. At across the similar time, lots of of miles away in Minneapolis, former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of homicide and manslaughter within the 2020 dying of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.

Columbus police launched physique digital camera footage of Ma’Khia’s dying on Tuesday evening and extra footage on Wednesday. Officers additionally launched the audio of two 911 calls, through which callers had sought police help on the tackle the place the taking pictures occurred. 

The primary of the 911 callers advised the dispatcher that somebody was “attempting to struggle us, attempting to stab us” as individuals shouted within the background. A distinct caller later phoned in with an emergency on the similar tackle however hung up after saying police had already arrived. 

Police stated they’d but to determine the 2 callers, however Ma’Khia’s relations have urged that not less than one of many callers was the teenager herself, who was reportedly in foster care on the time of her dying. Her household stated she referred to as the police for assist after ladies started combating exterior her residence. 

“My daughter dispatched Columbus police for cover, to not be a murder at the moment,” Paula Bryant, who recognized herself as Ma’Khia’s mom, advised reporters.

Ma’Khia’s different kin have stated that “the physique cam doesn’t present the reality of what occurred.”

A girl who recognized herself because the lady’s aunt advised The Columbus Dispatch that Ma’Khia dropped the knife she was holding earlier than Reardon shot her.

As protesters in Columbus have taken to the streets to demand justice for Ma’Khia, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther advised reporters, “We don’t but have all the details, however we do know {that a} 16-year-old lady ― a toddler on this group ― died final evening.”

“Did Ma’Khia Bryant must die yesterday? How did we get right here? Some are responsible, however all of us are accountable,” he added.

Ginther had beforehand defended Reardon’s actions. Within the rapid aftermath of the taking pictures, he stated it was “clear the officer took motion to guard one other younger life.”

However group members have challenged this narrative. 

“As quickly as [Reardon] bought out of the automotive, he had the gun able to shoot anyone,” Kiara Yakita, founding father of Black Liberation Motion Central Ohio, advised The Washington Put up. “Regulation enforcement and metropolis officers are dashing to make excuses as a result of she had a knife. These excuses should not legitimate to me.”

White Home press secretary Jen Psaki advised reporters Wednesday that President Joe Biden had been briefed on Ma’Khia’s “tragic” dying.

She was a toddler,” Psaki stated. “And her dying got here simply as America was hopeful of a step ahead after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin and the decision that was reached.”

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