A 16-year-old black girl has been shot dead by a police officer in Ohio in the United States. The BBC reports that the officer had been responding to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.
The teenager has been identified as Ma’Khia Bryant. Police bodycam footage reportedly showed the girl attacking others with a knife before having been shot.
The incident had taken place in Ohio states capital, Columbus, where residents have been urged to remain calm, after protesters gathered near the home where the girl’s shooting took place.
According to the BBC, police had been summoned to a site at about 16:45 local time on Tuesday. Footage from police bodycams shows an argument with a group of people outside a house when one of them appears to take a swipe at another with a knife. The BBC reports the armed individual as ‘appearing’ to be Ma’Khia Bryant. An officer then approaches the driveway, shouting, “get down” before firing several shots. The girl was fatally injured in the police fire.
While officials have claimed that the officer opened fire to save the life of one of the girls, Ma’Khia’s aunt claimed she had been defending herself against an attack. Ma’Khia’s mother, meanwhile, said she was “hurt” by what had occurred, describing her daughter as a “loving girl” who had been “looking forward to coming home” after having spent time in foster care. She demanded answers regarding her daughter’s death.
The as yet unnamed officer has been placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting. An investigation is underway.
Umm Muhammed Umar