White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the us-regions police shooting of a teenage girl who appeared to be wielding a knife “tragic” and said it will fuel the executive to continue addressing “systemic racism.”
“Let me just say, since you gave me the opportunity, the killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by the Columbus police is tragic. She was a child,” Psaki said. “We know that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people and communities and that Black women and girls like Black men and boys experience higher rates of police violence.”
“We also know that there are particular vulnerabilities that children in foster care like Ma’Khia face,” Psaki added.
She said President Biden had been briefed on the situation.
The White House struck a forceful tone in light of the Derek Chauvin verdict and renewed police brutality protests across the country. Psaki did not mention that the girl appeared to be attacking another with a knife.
Body camera footage shows a young girl attacking multiple people with what appeared to be a knife in Columbus, at which point a police officer fatally shot her. (Columbus Police Department)
(Columbus Police Department)
COLUMBUS SHOOTING: PROTESTERS GATHER AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS AFTER TEEN FATALLY SHOT BY OFFICER
“Her death came, as you noted, just as America is hopeful of a step forward after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin and the verdict that was reached. So our focus is on working to address systemic racism and implicit bias head on and, of course, to passing laws and legislation that will put much-needed reforms into place at police departments around the country,” she continued.
crime were called to the scene at a home in Columbus, Ohio, around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on a report of someone attempting to stab others.
As soon as police pulled up, a young female can be seen tackling another female to the ground with what appeared to be a knife in her hand. The girl can then be seen charging at another nearby female who was pinned between a car while raising the apparent knife in the air. The officer involved fires four shots, fatally injuring Bryant.
A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”
The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther mourned the loss of the young victim but defended the officer’s use of deadly force.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he told reporters. “But a family is grieving tonight and this young [16-year-old] girl will never be coming home.”
It’s unclear if anyone else was injured during the attack. The officer involved in the fatal shooting has been taken off the streets amid an investigation into the shooting, authorities said.
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“This never should have happened,” the teen’s mother, Paula Bryant, told 10TV while a tear streamed down her face. “She’s a loving girl.” The teen’s family said she was the one who called police and picked up a knife to defend herself in a neighborhood fight.
Protesters gathered near the location of the shooting and at the Columbus Police headquarters Tuesday night. Many were seen pushing past police barriers outside the headquarters around the same time bodycam footage was being shown inside.
Chants of “Black women matter,” “Black girls matter,” and “Say her name!” rang out from the crowd.
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.