A teen girl was shot and killed by police in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon, just as the jury in the George Floyd murder trial was being read aloud.
At a press conference Tuesday night, police revealed bodycam video of the cop shooting the Black girl as she tried to try to kill two bystanders with a knife.
Immediately after she was shot and collapsed, a black-handled blade like a kitchen knife or steak knife emerged on the sidewalk next to her.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference that state laws requires police to use lethal force to defend themselves or others, and prosecutors will decide if this shooting was one of those instances.
Officers had responded to an attempted stabbing call when police shot the girl at about 4:45 p.m., police said. The 911 caller reported a female was trying to stab them before hanging up, they said.
The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
It’s unclear whether anyone else was injured.
“This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted.
He later said at the news conference, “We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.”
Police who answered the department’s phone and officers on scene were not immediately able to provide details to The Associated Press.
A crowd had gathered Tuesday night at the scene on Legion Lane, which police had partially blocked off to traffic. Others gathered at the city’s police headquarters to protest, a week after officers pepper-sprayed a group that tried to enter the headquarters over the police killing of a man who had a gun in a hospital emergency room.
Hundreds of protesters pushed past police barriers outside the headquarters and approached officers as city officials were showing the bodycam video inside. Many chanted, “Say her name!” While others signified the victim’s age by yelling, “she was just a kid.” Officers with bicycles pushed protesters back and threatened to deploy pepper spray on the crowd.
The girl’s name and age were being withheld while her family is notified, police said. But family members have identified her as Makiyah Bryant, aged 16.
The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd.
Kimberly Shepherd, 50, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 17 years, said she knew the victim.
“The neighbourhood has definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this,” Shepherd said of the shooting. “But this is the worst thing that has ever happened out here and unfortunately it is at the hands of police.”
Shepherd and her neighbour Jayme Jones, 51, had celebrated the guilty verdict of Chauvin. But things changed quickly, she said.
“We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn’t even enjoy that,” Shepherd said. “Because as you’re getting one phone call that he was guilty, I’m getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighbourhood.”