US police shoot and kill teenager in Ohio as Derek Chauvin is convicted
The 16-year-old was fatally shot minutes before the verdict in George Floyd trial was announced
Police shot and killed a teenage girl on Tuesday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, just as the verdict was being announced in the trial for the killing of George Floyd.
Police released bodycam video hours later at a news conference of the officer shooting the girl, who was black.
Police involved in the shooting were answering an emergency call about an attempted stabbing by a female suspect.
In the video, it appears that Makiyah Bryant, 16, was shot by police moments after pushing or swinging at a person who fell to the ground and then swinging what appeared to be a knife at a girl on the bonnet of a car.
In the footage, it appeared that the police officers fired four times, striking Bryant.
The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
It is not clear whether anyone else was injured.
"It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," said Mayor Andrew Ginther.
"We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time [was critical]," he said.
A crowd gathered on Tuesday night at the scene on Legion Lane, which police had partially blocked 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 use pepper spray on the crowd.
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, told the Associated Press that she knew the victim.
“The neighbourhood definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this,” Ms 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.”
Ms Shepherd and her neighbour Jayme Jones, 51, celebrated the guilty verdict of Mr Chauvin.
But things changed quickly, she said.
“We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn’t even enjoy that,” Ms 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.”
Updated: April 21, 2021 12:09 PM