Columbus Shooting Sparks Protests Despite Videotape Showing Knife Attack

The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, in Columbus, Ohio has sparked protests despite the police releasing a videotape that appeared to show Bryant moving to stab another girl.  The incident has strikingly similar legal issues to the shooting of Adam Toledo in Chicago.  The parents of Bryant insist that she dropped the knife just before being shot, the same situation raised in the Toledo shooting.  The videotape does appear to satisfy the standard for the use of lethal force under Tennessee v. Garner and other case law.

Police told local media that, at  4:32 p.m., officers were dispatched to the address after a caller reported that a female was trying to stab other individuals.  The videotape shows Bryant moving toward the other female with the knife before being shot by the officer.

Various media outlets like NPR posted misleading accounts of the shooting, which fueled anger in the city.  NPR later corrected its original account:

 

The Daily Beast was criticized for its coverage, including a quote from “local Columbus activist K.C. Taynor of Exodus Nation” that “the latest police killing made it impossible to celebrate the Chauvin verdict. It’s another murder. They’re animals. They treat us like animals.”

Here is video with the The body cam footage around 6:35.

 

The knife if shown laying next to Bryant.

The site Heavy reports that Franklin County Children Services confirmed that Bryant was a foster child. Her aunt, Hazel Bryant, told The Dispatch that her niece “got into an altercation with someone else at the home” but that Bryant dropped her knife before being shot by a Columbus police officer.

On its face, the videotape would offer strong support for a justified shooting claim.

The Columbus Police manual states “Sworn personnel may use deadly force when the involved personnel have reason to believe the response is objectively reasonable to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or serious physical harm.” That language is derived from Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), when the court addressed the Fourth Amendment protections afforded a fleeing suspect and held that an officer may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless “the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

Tennessee v. Garner addressed a fleeing unarmed suspects and found the state statute too broad:

The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.

In Graham v. Connor, the court held that the question of whether an officer used excessive force “requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” However, the Court ruled unanimously that the “reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.” (The ABA discussed these and other cases in a recent posting).

In this case, Bryant was in close proximity and moving toward the other person with the knife. This was a direct threat of lethal force made against another person and the officer can claim that there was little time or space for “de-escalation” efforts.  The shooting is likely to be found to be justified under the governing standards for the use of lethal force.

 

 

254 thoughts on “Columbus Shooting Sparks Protests Despite Videotape Showing Knife Attack”

  1. In competitive target shooting you have plenty of time to get the shot off. You make sure your grip is correct. You level the front sight in the rear sight. You then take a breath and let half of it out before you slowly squeeze the trigger. Even the best shooters in the world repeat this process. If you have ever fired a weapon in rapid succession you know how inaccurate you become. What you realize is that to have any success at hitting your target at all you must increase the rate of fire. Biden says to aim for the legs. In rapid fire there is no aiming but rather point and shoot. If the officer would have taken the time to check his grip, level the front sight, take a deep breath and let half of it out, and slowly squeezed the trigger he probably could have shot her in the leg just after the knife had penetrated deep into her victims body for the second time. Of course many posters on this forum and Joe Biden would like us to believe that they are weapons experts. More often they have an opinion on something they absolutely have no knowledge of. Or perhaps they are knowledgeable but they know what to say to keep their dumbed down suckers coming back for more.

  2. White people are simply not the problem. Not white policeman and not white conservatives anyway. White liberals, along with the race they pander to, are the real problem. Everyone knows this.

    1. Liberals, perhaps. It’s a divergent ideology, typically generational, sectarian, factional. White liberals… liberals of white? The principles of liberalism are not constrained by diversity dogma (e.g. racism) and classes (e.g. racist designation including people of brown). There are diverse historical and global precedents for individual predisposition, and even more individual exceptions.

  3. If your 13 year old is out stabbing people, carjacking uber drivers or running around with guns, please know…

    …you are a terrible parent.

    It’s you.
    It’s not the police.
    Its not the politicians.
    It’s not the teachers.
    It’s you.
    Just you.

    @kimKBaltimore

  4. A far more efficient method of social and ethnic hygiene maintenance is needed than the occasional killing of black men by police.

    Recognition is needed that some humans are destined for the criminal underclass when they are born and that it is sensible to dispose of them without waiting for them to be shot by police at the age of 13, 16 or 49.

    It does not really matter whether the cause of crime is an inherent underclass tendency to it or the result of the respectable classes excluding them from lawful means of gaining an adequate income. The righteous classes will never tolerate resources being expended on the underclass in ways that will benefit them.
    Instead I recommend euthanising underclass babies as soon as they are born and sterilising underclass men and women of reproductive age.

    The root cause of the problem was that excess of woke political correctness and theft of white property, the abolition of slavery. Righteous people need to admit their hatred of minorities is every bit as strong as the Nazis’ hate of certain ethnic groups and political ideologies. Laws mandating the death penalty for spreading ideas of wokeness are also needed.

    1. Those are despicable comments.

      Why are you so bitter and hateful towards your fellow man?

        1. Javert thought he was realistic, too. He, too, had a mistaken idea about destiny and humanity.

      1. You should be addressing this question to the mainstream media, democrat politicians and Biden and his administration.

    2. Yes, woke and drowsy is a central attribute of people… persons prone to to indulge diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), per chance rabid, not limited to racism a la Hutu vs Tutsi, National Socialists (e.g. Jew privilege, selective-Jew), etc., that denies individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, and normalizes color blocs (e.g. people of white), color quotas, and affirmative discrimination. !HateLovesAbortion

      That said, diversity of individuals, minority of one.

  5. If Valerie Jarrett and others on the Left believe blacks don’t need police to protect them from knife attacks, then they need to tell 911 dispatchers to ask whether the caller on the other end of the line is reporting an incident involving blacks. We wouldn’t want officers to mistake an “ordinary” neighborhood argument for an actual life and death attack.

  6. In this situation a taser would have worked just fine. The officer was close enough to use one.

    1. Too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You know, post-birth abortion is still an option…

    2. The threat to the girl’s life was immediate, not imminent. Preparing and deploying a taser would have given the assailant sufficient time to abort her target.

  7. Killings of blacks by other blacks don’t make the headlines. Why don’t these Black Lives Matter? The reason is very easy to understand. There’s no money in it. The shills both black and white don’t give a damn about the George Floyds of the world until his memory lines their pockets. Like flies to a rotting carcass the all buzzed to Minneapolis. When will the Black community realize they are being played, without much care, like an old fiddle. One can only pray for a road to Damascus moment.

    1. Some, Select Black Lives Matter is a Pro-Choice sect incorporated in the diversity racket. Normal people do not exercise liberal license to indulge diversity dogma, let alone engage in commercial enterprises to force redistributive change.

      1. Squeeky,

        That was a Black lesbian….A hard core butch didn’t like her lover messing around town

  8. Cause & effect

    Ever since the Ohio cop body cam footage was released, sales increased for Chucky Doll’s affordable “Child’s Play Voodoo Knife”.

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