The household of Ma’Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old Black Ohio lady shot to demise by police after lunging at two ladies with a knife final week, is asking for a federal investigation into each her capturing and her placement within the foster care system.
Household legal professional Michelle Martin made the calls for at a information convention alongside Ma’Khia’s organic mother and father, siblings and different family Tuesday.
She mentioned the lady’s life had been “lower brief by lots of our failing methods,” together with the Columbus Division of Police and Ohio’s youngster companies businesses.
“We’re going to examine each company that had the time and the chance to forestall Ma’Khia’s demise,” she mentioned.
The decision for a federal probe comes a day after Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther requested the Justice Division to conduct its personal evaluate of Columbus police and suggest potential reform measures.
It’s unclear why Ma’Khia was in foster care, and Martin declined to elaborate. However the lady’s father, Myron Hammonds, was on the scene of the capturing when it occurred exterior her foster house.
“To know Ma’Khia is to know life,” he instructed reporters. “She was with me for 16 years and she or he was my peacemaker.”
Video of Ma’Khia’s demise has circulated broadly because it occurred on April 20, shortly earlier than a jury introduced a responsible verdict towards ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the homicide of George Floyd throughout an arrest try.
It exhibits Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon arriving on the scene and encountering Bryant swinging a knife and bowling over one lady, recognized later as Shai-Onta Lana Craig-Watkins, 20, earlier than lunging with the weapon towards Tionna Bonner, 22, pinning her towards a automobile.
Reardon, a White officer, rolled as much as the chaotic scene and requested “What’s happening?” simply earlier than the teenager started swinging.
“Get down!” he shouted a number of occasions earlier than firing 4 photographs. She fell to the bottom, and different responding officers could be seen trying first assist.
Use of pressure consultants have mentioned Reardon responded appropriately and will have saved the ladies’s lives, however critics are arguing that he ought to have used less-than-lethal pressure to cease the knife assault.
“The officer responded too aggressively, to say it mildly,” Martin, the household legal professional, argued throughout her information convention. “You’ll proceed to listen to our voices. We can’t let this stand.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.