Ma Khiya Bryant moved into her new foster care home on Valentine’s Day. She was delighted to share a house with her younger sister and the two would often spend quality time together; from making Tik Tok videos to dancing together, the two shared a bond like no other. While she loved her time at the foster care house, Ms. Bryant incessantly wished to be reunited with her mother.
That wish was cut short when Ma Khiya Bryant was fatally shot by a police officer on Tuesday afternoon. The video footage revealed shows Ms. Bryant jostling another female on the ground and purportedly aiming at her with a knife hung in midair. Before she could take a step further, she falls back to the ground as a Columbus police officer, later identified as Nicholas Reardon, opens fire at her.
The untimely death of Ma Khiya Bryant has resulted in a wave of protests and declarations; all resonating with the anger that an “unceasing tally of killings” by the police has brought. Although the shooting has been declared as a tragedy by many alike, officials including Ned Pettus Jr, the city’s public safety director.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Pettus Jr reiterated that the public must wait until “facts are determined by an independent investigation.” He also declared that the shooting is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the officials would ensure each and everything is looked into.
The first call that brought the police to the scene was made by a young woman who spoke about someone attempting to stab her and asked the police officer to report to the crime scene immediately. This frenzied call was followed by another 911 call, but the caller hung up as the police had already arrived at the crime scene.
When Nicholas Reardon got out of his police car, he tried to make sense of the chaotic situation. Before he could look for answers, Ma Khiya Bryant pushed a girl onto the grass and then kicked another man. Video footage highlights Ms. Bryant pointing a knife at the same girl who had been pushed down on the grass. Officer Reardon asked Ms. Bryant, to stop and asked her to “Get down” at least two times. Upon noncooperation, the officer then proceeds to shoot her, ending the tale of Maa Khiya Bryant.
The gunshot resulted in a series of protests by several bystanders who asked Reardon the reason for firing at the sixteen-year-old. In response, he only replied: “She came at her with a knife”, referring to Bryant and the other female. Despite his reasonable stance, several people have disagreed with what unfolded that day in Ohio. According to Chief Woods, the killing of Ma Khiya Bryant is no less than a “tragedy.”
Ms. Bryant’s foster mother questioned the actions of the police officer and vehemently declared that her child did not deserve to die on the streets. A cousin of Bryant’s mother, Don Bryant suggested that the matter could have been dealt with by the Police Department in a much better manner- one that wouldn’t have cost Ma Khiya Bryant her life.