2021-May-19 07:34
World
2021-April-21  13:02

Columbus Mayor Urges Calm After Black Teenager Killed by US Police

TEHRAN (FNA)- Andrew Ginther, the mayor of Columbus, Ohio, announced that there would be "an independent investigation" into a shooting by the Columbus Police Department (CPD) in which "a young woman tragically lost her life", urging residents to remain calm.

"This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life. We do not know all of the details. There is body-worn camera footage of the incident. We are working to review it as soon as possible. BCI is on the scene conducting an independent investigation — as they do with all CPD-involved shootings. We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts," Ginther tweeted.

The message came about one hour after Ginther commented on the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial over the death of George Floyd during a fatal arrest in May 2020, calling the verdict "the best outcome following the tragic and unnecessary loss of life".

According to local media, the "young woman" in Columbus appeared to be either a 15-year-old or 16-year-old black girl, Makiyah Bryant. The difference in reported ages was explained by a journalist from WBNS-TV, who reported that the child's aunt stated that the girl was 15, while the mother of the victim told journalists that Makiyah was 16.

According to Fox28, the CPD shooting took place after police received a report of an attempted stabbing and were called to the 3000 block of Legion Lane at around 3:45 pm, local time. 

The Daily Beast reported, citing Makiyah's aunt, Hazel Bryant, that it was Makiyah herself who called the police over someone abusing her in her house. The aunt added, cited by The Daily Beast, that police shot the teenager four times after they saw a knife on the ground nearby.

According to a statement from an eyewitness who allegedly recorded a video cited by the media, Makiyah had a knife in her hand “because somebody tried to jump her”, and the officer who shot the teenager did not ask her to put the knife down.

After the news was posted online, locals gathered in downtown Columbus and near the CPD headquarters, demanding that the police and the mayor release the bodycam footage.

Later, the CPD released body camera footage related to the fatal Columbus police shooting that happened on Tuesday evening and killed Bryant.

The video shows a police officer approaching several people who are shouting at each other. As the officer approaches the group of people a scuffle begins between two persons and one falls on the ground. At that moment a female, appearing to be the late teenage girl, attacked another female, holding a knife in her hand after which the officer shot the girl four times.

During the release of the graphic video, Columbus Interim Police Chief Mike Woods noted that it was "tragic incident for all involved", and that the police are not releasing the name of the teenager "yet". The bureau of criminal investigation was said to be conducting an 'independent' criminal investigation into the incident. 

Woods highlighted that "normally we don't provide information this soon but we understand the public need, desire and expectation to have transparancy upon what happened".