COLUMBUS, OH – Police have released bodycam footage that shows an officer shooting and killing 16 year-old Makiyah Bryant Tuesday afternoon as she was attacking two other girls with a knife and was refusing to follow lawful orders to stop, according to reports.
According to interim Columbus Police Chief, Michael Woods, officers were responding to a 911 call from a home on the city’s southeast side reporting an attempted stabbing. Bodyam footage shows police arriving at the scene and encountering several people on the driveway of the house; at that time the camera shows Makiyah Bryant, wielding what appears to be a large kitchen knife, knocking down and attacking a female.
The officer begins to shout “Hey! Hey! Hey! Get down! Get down! Get down!” However, Bryant ignores the commands and instead pivots and attacks a second female with the knife, pinning her against a parked car.
As the footage shows Bryant raising the knife, as if to stab the victim, the officer opens fire multiple times; Bryant is subsequently seen collapsing against the car and then falling onto the ground. The officer then kneels next to her and attempts to render medical assistance.
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Bryant was taken to a local area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Bryant’s mother, Paula Bryant, said that her daughter – confirmed at the time to be in the Franklin County Childrens Services foster care system – “had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered.”
However, Ira Graham III, a neighbor of Makiyah Bryant, told CNN that the 16 year-old clearly “was the aggressor.”
“I can certainly see why the police officer chose to stop her. Now, whether or not less lethal force could have been used, whether or not a Taser could have been chosen instead of a gun — I don’t know,” he said. “But I do know that with Makiyah having that lethal weapon in her hand, she did need to be stopped.”
The officer involved in the shooting – which has sparked protests in Columbus – has been taken off the street as the incident is investigated. However, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther stated at a press conference that the officer’s split-second actions had saved the lives of others.
UPDATE APRIL 22, 2021, 12:27 PM: FULL, UNEDITED BODYCAM FOOTAGE OF THE MAKIYAH BRYANT SHOOTING AND AFTERMATH HAS BEEN RELEASED
“We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he said. “But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home.”