Newly released footage from a neighbour’s home surveillance camera shows Ohio teenager Ma’Khia Bryant lunging at two people before she was shot dead by police.
Ma’Khia, 16, died after she was shot four times by a police officer responding to reports of an attempting stabbing at a house in Columbus on Tuesday.
The young girl’s death – which came just as a former police officer was found guilty of the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis – sparked Black Lives Matter protests in the Ohio capital.
Columbus man Donavon Brinson, who lives opposite the front yard where Ma’Khia was shot, has released home security camera that shows the chaotic scenes leading to fatal shooting.
In the footage, Ma’Khia appears to lunge at two people while holding a knife.
Mr Brinson told Fox News the footage led him to think the officer who shot the young girl “reacted with what he thought was his best judgment”.
“He only had seconds to respond,” Mr Brinson said.
“From my point of view, watching this, unfortunately the whole scenario puts him in a bad spot regardless of what the situation was.
“He could have not fired, and the young lady in pink could have got stabbed in the neck, or been brutally or fatally injured.”
Mr Brinson added the “the video doesn’t lie”.
In the new footage, a female voice can be heard yelling, “I’m gonna stab the fk out of you, bitch.”
Previously released bodycam video from the police officer who shot Ma’Khia, Nicholas Reardon, shows him exiting his vehicle and walking up on an apparent confrontation involving multiple women.
“What’s going on? What’s going on?” he asks.
Seconds later, one of the women is pushed onto the footpath in front of him. Ma’Khia is then seen rushing at another woman, who is dressed in a pink tracksuit. She is brandishing a knife in her right hand.
“Hey, get down, get down, get down!” Mr Reardon shouts, drawing his gun.
He then shoots the 16-year-old, firing four times.
Ma’Khia was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is now examining the shooting and will determine whether Mr Reardon did anything wrong.
“The important step now is an independent and transparent investigation. We will assist them, but we will not interfere in any process that they have. Our role is to provide them the information that they request,” interim Police Chief Michael Woods told the media.
“We will not provide input, we will allow them to conduct their investigation.”
Meanwhile, relatives of Ma’Khia have described the teenager as an “all-round good person”.
Don Bryant, a cousin of Ma’Khia’s mother, told The Washington Post he struggled to recognise the girl in the video as he tried to make sense of what happened.
He said while he didn’t “condone any violence”, he felt the officer’s decision to shoot was disproportionate.
“There are other disengagement techniques that police could have used here,” he said. “I’m a supporter of police, as former city councillor. I understood their moves, their tactics, what they do. I just don’t understand what happened here.”
Loved ones told The Post Ma’Khia was an intelligent young girl who performed well at school and was an aspiring cosmetologist.
In a statement on Thursday, the Bryant family said they were saddened by her “tragic and unnecessary death”.
“Ma’Khia was a good student, a good person, and did not deserve what happened to her. We want to remind everyone Ma’Khia was only a 16 year old teenage girl. We are deeply disturbed by the disproportionate and unjustified use of force in this situation,” the family said.
“And while we remain encouraged by public support and all of the prayers shared with us; at the end of the day, we know nothing will bring back our beloved Ma’Khia. We respectfully request justice for Ma’Khia Bryant.”