Just before a jury reached a historic guilty verdict for Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the George Floyd murder trial, a 16-year-old girl was shot several times by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio.
The New York Times reports that Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by a police officer Tuesday afternoon who was responding to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing. Bryant’s aunt Hazel told Ohio Statehouse News Bureau reporter Andy Chow that Ma’Khia had made the call because a group of older kids had threatened her with assault, according to NPR. Her mother Paula Bryant told WBNS 10 that her daughter “dispatched the Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today.” Body camera footage released by officials depicted Bryant in an altercation with two other people, and officials claim Bryant lunged at one of them with a knife before an officer fired four shots killing her. The officer’s name has not been released and The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct an independent inquiry into the shooting.
“I’m very upset, I’m hurt. I want answers,” Paula Bryant told WBNS. Bryant says the last time she saw her daughter, who was in foster care at the time of her death, she told her she made honor roll. “Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered.”
Bryant’s shooting is a stark reminder that Chauvin’s conviction was not justice, and there is still work to be done abolishing policing in this country. “For a Black person killed by cops, there is no such thing as justice—injustice is inherent in the circumstances that led to their murder,” Jezebel writer Justice Namaste wrote yesterday. “There is no accountability either: Chauvin’s incarceration will simply allow the same system that killed George Floyd to justify its continued existence.”