The mother of the 16-year-old Columbus, Ohio, girl who was shot by police said in a tearful interview that her “loving, peaceful” daughter “called the cops “for protection – not to be a homicide.”
Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot after her family said she called police to report girls fighting about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, shortly before former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
Video released by police shows an officer encountering the teen, who appears to be armed with a knife and chasing another girl, who falls in front of the cop.
The officer screams at the alleged suspect to “get down,” before the teen targets another girl, the video shows. As she swings the apparent weapon toward the second girl, the officer fires several shots at the alleged suspect, striking her.
“I’m very upset, I’m hurt. I want answers,” Ma’Khia’s mom Paula Bryant told 10TV tearfully. “My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today.”
The distraught woman said her daughter had been staying in a foster home and that she last saw her on Thursday.
“We hugged each other. She said ‘Mommy, I made honor roll.’ She said ‘Mommy, I’m looking forward to coming home,’” Bryant told the news outlet.
“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered,” she added.
Columbus police said they would release additional bodycam video on Wednesday, 10TV reported.
“We thought it was important to share with the community, to be transparent about this incident, to let them have some answers that we can provide tonight,” Police Chief Michael Woods said Tuesday.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said the girl’s death was a “horrible, heartbreaking situation.”
He called it a “tragic day in the city of Columbus,” and asked his city to pray for the teen’s family.
Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. offered sympathies to the family during a press conference late Tuesday and said the situation will be fully investigated.