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Ma'Khia Bryant's Story

Ma’Khia Bryant: Columbus police release body camera footage in shooting of 16-year-old

In an unprecedented move, Columbus police showed body camera footage of the shooting of a 16-year-old girl by a Columbus police officer just hours after the incident on the Southeast Side.

The shooting, which happened about 20 minutes before a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, prompted hundreds to protest at the shooting site and Downtown.

The video shows an officer approaching a driveway with a group of young people standing there. In the video, it appears that the 16-year-old, identified now as Ma’Khia Bryant, who was moments later shot by police, pushes or swings at a person, who falls to the ground.

Bryant then appears to swing a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car, and the officer fires his weapon what sounds like four times, striking Bryant, who died a short time later.

"It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time" was critical.

Franklin County Children's Services confirmed on Tuesday night that the girl killed was 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant and that she was in foster care and in the custody of Children's Services.

Police received a 911 call at 4:35 p.m. about an attempted stabbing on the 3100 block of Legion Lane, which is located north of Chatterton Road. The caller reported a female was trying to stab them, then the caller hung up.

Officers responded to the scene and at 4:45 p.m. an officer-involved shooting was reported.

Columbus Fire medics were cleared to come into the scene at 4:46 p.m., police said. The wounded person was transported in critical condition to Mount Carmel East hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m., police said.

Columbus police stressed that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the case, but the city wanted to release the body camera to give the public more information.

Ma'Khia Bryant was helpful and kind, her friends and family say

You could always see Ma'Khia Bryant coming from a long way off: Her colorful Crocs shoes always gave her away.

She had dozens of them in all styles and shades, but the rainbow pair she wore on Tuesday — the day a Columbus police officer shot and killed her as the 16-year-old swung a knife at a woman — were her favorite.

"I never saw her wear a pair of real shoes," one of her best friends, 16-year-old Zion Davis, said as she laughed. "No matter how cold out it was, that's what she wore."

And at a rally at the Statehouse early Saturday afternoon, more than half the crowd of about 40 was wearing colorful Crocs in her honor.

In the days since Bryant was killed, those who loved her most have spread the word to the world of the teenager they knew — the one who was happiest when she was styling hair, the one who was passionate about lip gloss, the one who loved long fake eyelashes, the one who was always volunteering to help her family.

"That’s what people liked to say in the family," that she was so helpful, Bryant's cousin Don Bryant, said.

Bryant had, according to district records and published reports, attended a few schools. She had been a student at Canal Winchester High School for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. She attended Trotwood-Madison schools (mostly remotely because of the pandemic) near Dayton from November to February, and had attended Independence High School in Columbus since February.

Her business education teacher at Independence, Austin Owens, said that Bryant had a five-year plan. She wanted to go to college and she wanted to own an eye-lash company.

"She had done the research to know that the lash industry was coming," Owens said. "It wasn't just own a boutique. It was to own a lashes company."

"She wanted to have these things that would allow her to be a productive citizen," Owens said. "She knew what she wanted to be."

Owens said that Bryant sat toward the front of class, always respectful and engaged.

"Once she got something, she wanted to do it a high level," he said. "She caught up and was doing her work at a high level."

Canal Winchester High School friend says "I'm mad and sad at the same time" about Bryant's death

It was while a student at Canal Winchester that Bryant met the teens who would become her best friends.

Aaliyaha Tucker called Bryant funny, and kind, and helpful. She was the type of high-school friend people are drawn to because she would listen to their problems, and boost their confidence, she said.

Columbus Police body camera footage from Off. Nicholas Reardon

Second officer's body camera footage of shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant

Investigative Report

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