COLUMBUS, Ohio — Law enforcement authorities on Wednesday launched 911 calls and new body-camera movies displaying the chaotic moments surrounding the killing of a Black 16-year-old woman who was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer responding to a name about a disturbance.
Michael Woods, the interim chief of the Columbus Division of Police, recognized the officer who shot the woman, Ma’Khia Bryant, as Nicholas Reardon, and mentioned he had been on the power since December 2019. Officer Reardon, who’s white, has been positioned on administrative go away because the capturing is investigated.
Ms. Bryant was killed lower than an hour earlier than a jury in Minneapolis handed down its responsible verdict in opposition to Derek Chauvin in the homicide of George Floyd, and her demise exterior her foster residence on a suburban block in southeastern Columbus rapidly set off new waves of anger and protests over police killings.
Officials in Columbus pleaded for endurance from the general public on Wednesday as they launched new body-camera footage from three responding officers that seems to indicate Ms. Bryant lunging with a knife towards a particular person dressed in pink seconds earlier than the officer shoots her 4 occasions.
“A teenage girl is dead, and she’s dead at the hands of a police officer. Under any circumstance, that is a horrendous tragedy,” Ned Pettus Jr., the general public security director for the town of Columbus, mentioned throughout a information convention on Wednesday. “But the video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events, and though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as is determined by an independent investigation.”
Mr. Pettus mentioned a third-party investigation being performed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation might want to reply key questions, together with what data the officer had, what he noticed on the scene, and what would have occurred if he “had taken no action at all.”
Chief Woods mentioned officers are allowed to make use of lethal power to guard someone who’s in hazard of being killed by one other particular person. A Taser, he mentioned, is mostly reserved for conditions the place there isn’t any instant menace of demise.
Chief Woods mentioned officers have been referred to as to a disturbance, however didn’t know that a doable tried stabbing could be happening. He additionally mentioned that officers aren’t required to name out discover that they’re about to fireplace their weapon, although they attempt to if there may be time.
The capturing unfolded after 911 dispatchers acquired a name at 4:32 p.m. on Tuesday from what appeared like a feminine caller shouting that somebody was making an attempt to stab them. Screams might be heard in the background. The 911 dispatcher requested the caller in the event that they noticed any weapons.
“We need a police officer here now,” the caller responded.
In the aftermath of Ms. Bryant’s killing, activists and neighbors questioned whether or not the officer might have used a less-lethal weapon, together with a Taser, or another tactic to interrupt up the chaotic scene that will have ended with Ms. Bryant alive.
A protest was deliberate on Wednesday exterior Police Headquarters.
“They didn’t de-escalate the situation,” mentioned DeJuan Sharp, an organizer with a native Black Lives Matter group referred to as the Downtownerz. “I don’t know why the gun was the first thing for him to use.”