Police in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday fatally shot a Black teenage girl they confronted as she lunged at two people with a knife, as seen in police video footage of the encounter, authorities said.
The incident, sparking street protests in Ohio’s largest city, came as the nation was focused on the guilty verdict a Minneapolis jury returned against a white former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd last year by kneeling on his neck.
Releasing police body-camera video of Tuesday’s shooting hours later, the interim Columbus police chief, Michael Woods, said officers involved there were responding to an emergency-911 call from someone who reported an attempted stabbing at a home on the city’s southeast side.
Arriving police encountered a chaotic scene of several people on the front lawn where the teenager in question, brandishing a knife, charged toward one female who falls backwards, then lunged at a second female, the video showed.
A slow-motion replay of the video shows the second victim stumbling backward against a car parked in the driveway as the knife-wielding youth raises the weapon as if about to stab her, and an officer opens fire.
The teenager immediately collapses against the parked car and onto the ground, and the weapon, which appears to be a kitchen-style knife, is seen lying on the pavement near her as an officer crouches at her side to render medical aid.
Authorities described the youth who was fatally shot as a 15-year-old girl. But family members have identified her as Makiyah Bryant, aged 16.
The police chief said the video, which he said shows the slain teenager trying to stab both females, was released to the public within hours of the incident in the interest of “transparency.”
The officer who opened fire was not identified but appears from the video to be white. The chief said he “would be taken off the street” pending an investigation.