Columbus, Ohio, police have released the body camera footage taken of a fatal Tuesday incident involving an officer and a 16-year-old Black girl. The teen has since been identified as Ma’Khia Bryant.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods also identified the officer involved in the fatal shooting, Nicholas Reardon, who has been with the department since December 2019.
The department has since released the body camera footage taken during the incident as well as the 911 calls that summoned police to the Columbus, Ohio neighborhood where Bryant was killed.
Footage from Reardon’s body camera shows Bryant brawling with two other girls as the officer steps out of the vehicle. Within seconds, Reardon fires what appears to be four times at Bryant, as slowed down footage showed her pushing one of the girls against a car. Bryant then appears to lunge at her with a knife in her hand.
“She had a knife, she just went at her,” Reardon also said in the footage as a second officer rushes to the fallen teen’s side.
When asked why Reardon did not deploy a Taser and instead resorted to lethal force, said Woods, “When officers are faced with someone employing deadly force, deadly force can be the response officers give.”
Released 911 calls replayed audio that came in at 4:32 p.m. where a female caller told the dispatcher, “These girls over here trying to fight us, trying to stab us, put their hands on us. Get here now! We need a police officer over here now!”
A second call came in after police arrived.
No one was arrested at the scene.
Ned Pettus, director of the Columbus Department of Public Safety, said at a press conference Tuesday, if the law was broken the police officer will be held accountable.
“My heart breaks for the family tonight. No matter the circumstances, that family is in agony,” he added. “They deserve answers, the city deserves answers. … But fast answers cannot come at the expense of accurate answers.”
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