A Columbus police officer shot and killed a Black teenage girl on Tuesday afternoon just as a guilty verdict was being handed down in the Derek Chauvin murder case, a family member said.
The shooting victim has not been officially identified but was named as 15-year-old Makiyah Bryant by a relative early Tuesday evening.
“She was a good kid. She was loving,” Hazel Bryant, who said the child was her niece, told reporters on the east side of Columbus. “She was 15 years old. She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street.”
According to Bryant, Makiyah called the police because someone in her house was abusing her. She went on to say that police saw a knife on the ground near Makiyah and shot the teenager four times.
A woman identified as Tay Jones wrote on Facebook that she had witnessed the shooting and posted a video purportedly from the scene. She said the 15-year-old had a knife “because somebody tried to jump her.” The white police officer who shot her never told her to put down the knife, according to Jones.
The teen was transported to a nearby hospital, Mount Carmel East, where she succumbed to the injuries sustained in the shooting, local station NBC 4 reported. The department has reportedly contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to review the use of deadly force. The police department’s public information office did not respond to a request for comment.
The 911 call that brought police to the scene had reportedly cited an attempted stabbing.
A group of about 20 residents soon gathered in the neighborhood at the intersection of Legion Lane and Templar Street, near where police had the scene of the incident blocked off. The group was chanting “Black lives matter!” and “No justice, no peace!” and “No racist police!” Three neighbors who said they didn’t want to speak on the record told The Daily Beast police killed a 15-year-old girl.
Video from the scene shortly after the shooting showed a person lying on the ground in jeans and bright sneakers as bystanders yelled at police.
The killing occurred just as the verdict was being announced in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed, 46-year-old Black man, in May 2020.
Local Columbus activist K.C. Taynor of Exodus Nation told The Daily Beast the latest police killing made it impossible to celebrate the Chauvin verdict.
“It’s another murder,” he said. “They’re animals. They treat us like animals.”