On the day white former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of black man George Floyd, sixteen-year-old black teenager Ma’Khia Bryant was shot to death by police after calling them for help.
On the afternoon of April 20th officers in Columbus, Ohio, were called to reports of an attempted stabbing.
Video of the chaotic scene appears to show Ma’Khia lunging at another girl while carrying a knife at which point the officer fires four shots at her.
Before firing the shots the officer approached the group in the driveway and shouted “get down” before firing.
Columbus police released body camera footage soon after the incident and announced an investigation had been launched.
The footage made its way onto social media and opinion was divided over the incident with some saying the officer was justified in his actions in order to save the girl from being stabbed.
While many others have called the officer’s actions yet another example of systematic racism citing the example of mass shooting incidents where white culprits are stopped without being shot and killed such as Atlanta spa shooting suspect Robert Aaron Long.
Many famous faces have also aired their thoughts on the matter with “The View” co-host Meghan McCain coming out in defense of the officer.
The officer, identified as Nicholas Reardon, has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is carried out.
Officer Reardon can be heard saying in the footage, “She had a knife, she just went at her.”
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
Ma’Khia’s aunt, Hazel Bryant, told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided.
She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself.
She was a good kid. She was loving,” Hazel Bryant said, “Yeah, she had issues but that’s OK. All of us go through sh*t… She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”
Ohio Mayor Andrew Ginther said that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
“The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home.”
Ma’Khia’s mom said: “I’m very upset, I’m hurt. I want answers. My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection — not to be a homicide today.”
Meghan McCain, the daughter of late politician John McCain, is known for her sometimes controversial opinions which aren’t always well received by her fellow talk show hosts. And this incident was no exception.
Meghan McCain aired her strong views on the matter in a discussion with ‘The View’ co-host Sunny Hostin.
“I just disagree in this situation because she was about to stab another girl and I think the police officer did what he thought he had to do,” Meghan said, referring to Ma’Khia.
“This one is harder for me, and if there’s one thing I learned from the #MeToo movement, it’s that I’m going to take everything by case by case by case situation and I don’t think that everything is always comparable.
“The way I was raised is to respect authority, to respect police officers, to respect law enforcement. I have a lot of friends who are in the military and who are also police officers,” she explained.
“But working on this show and experiencing what I’ve experienced over the past few years, no one without two brain cells in their head can understand that police tend to treat African Americans and people of color a different way than they do white people. And it’s just a fact we’re all trying to reconcile and come to terms with.”
Do you think enough is enough when it comes to the police’s treatment of black suspects versus white suspects? Do you believe Officer Reardon was justified in his actions? Please post your comments below and share this story.