#Roommates do you remember the tragic police killing of MaKhia Bryant? Well Ohio prosecutors announced Friday that the Columbus police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia last year, has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
If you recall, back in April 2021, police responded to a 911 call made from Ma’Khia’s foster home about a group of girls threatening to stab members of the household. Video released by police showed Officer Nicholas Reardon arriving to the scene, pulling out his gun and firing four shots at Ma’Khia as she appeared to swing a knife at a young woman. Ma’Khia’s killing further heightened tensions in Columbus over the fatal police shootings of Black people, and also cast a light on the state’s foster care system.
While announcing the grand jury decision, special prosecutors Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer shared that, “Under Ohio law the use of deadly force by a police officer is justified when there exists an immediate or imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another.” They said the decision followed a full review of the shooting.
Following the grand jury’s decision, the attorney for Ma’Khia’s family, Michelle Martin, released a statement saying:
“Ma’Khia Bryant’s family is disappointed that a Franklin County grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot and killed her last year. Ma’Khia’s family has long wondered why this officer opted for lethal force even though there should have been other non-deadly options available to deal with this situation. We believe that the tragedy that ultimately resulted in Ma’Khia’s death started long before she was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer. There must be full-scale changes made to Ohio’s foster care system to ensure that this doesn’t happen to another child.”
Foster parent Angela Moore told investigators that neither Bryant nor her sister, who was also in the home, had ever displayed violence, but all the girls in the home periodically argued.
A week after Bryant’s death, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther invited the Justice Department to review the police department for possible “deficiencies and racial disparities.” The U.S. Justice Department accepted, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted an investigation into the officer-involved shooting, completing their investigation in July 2021.
Want updates directly in your text inbox? Hit us up at 917-722-8057 or click here to join!