Ma’Khia Bryant latest – Expert says 'no clear options available' for cop who killed teen as 'training only goes so far'

Ma’Khia Bryant latest – Expert says 'no clear options available' for cop who killed teen as 'training only goes so far'

04/25/2021

USE-of-force expert Seth Stoughton said that the cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant had no other option but to use deadly force against the teen.

“With the caveat that I only know what is shown on the video, I don’t see any clear options or alternatives that were available to the officer,” Seth Stoughton told the Columbus Dispatch.

Police officer Nicholas Reardon was criticized for not using different methods to disarm the teen and de-escalate the situation instead of using a firearm. 

However, Stoughton thinks that events of the incident happened "too quickly" for Reardon to take any other action. 

In a situation where someone is “actively” attacking a person with a knife, de-escalation is not the right tool to use, according to Stoughton. 

“When an officer sees one person attacking another person with a weapon at close range in a way that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, lethal force is appropriate,” Stoughton said.

“The use of a firearm is the most reliable way to address that imminent threat,” he added.

Stoughton had a different opinion about the use-of-force approach in the case of Chauvin, who was convicted last week for murdering George Floyd last year. 

“Both the knee across Mr. Floyd’s neck and the prone restraint were unreasonable, excessive, and contrary to generally accepted police practices,” he said.

The 16-year-old Black teen was shot by police in Columbus on Tuesday mere hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three counts of manslaughter and murder charges in the killing of George Floyd.

Read our Ma’Khia Bryant shooting blog for the latest news and updates.

  • Fatma Khaled

    CANDACE OWENS FIRES CONTROVERSIAL TWEET ABOUT MA’KHIA BRYANT, GEORGE FLOYD, DAUNTE WRIGHT, AND JACOB BLAKE

    In a Tweet on Saturday, Candace Owens hammered George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Daunte Wright, and Ma'Khia Bryant.

    Owens said in a controversial tweet that she wants to speak to the victims of all four individuals who were killed by the police.

    She tweeted: "Wish I could score an interview with the woman George Floyd robbed at gunpoint, or the one Jacob Blake [allegedly assaulted], or the one [Daunte] Wright physically assaulted and robbed, or the one Ma’Khia Bryant tried to butcher…"

    She was accused of "attention seeking" after her Tweet and some told her off for criticizing people who had been killed by cops or – in the case of Blake – left paralyzed, but many of her followers applauded her explosive comments.

  • Fatma Khaled

    EXPERT SAYS NO ‘CLEAR OPTIONS WERE AVAILABLE’ FOR COP WHO FATALLY SHOT BRYANT 

    Use-of-force expert Seth Stoughton said that the cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant had no other option but to use deadly force against the teen.

    "With the caveat that I only know what is shown on the video, I don't see any clear options or alternatives that were available to the officer," Seth Stoughton told the Columbus Dispatch.

    Police officer Nicholas Reardon was criticized for not using different methods to disarm the teen and de-escalate the situation instead of using a firearm. 

    However, Stoughton thinks that events of the incident happened ‘too quickly’ for Reardon to take any other action. 

    In a situation where someone is "actively" attacking a person with a knife, de-escalation is not the right tool to use, according to Stoughton. 

    "When an officer sees one person attacking another person with a weapon at close range in a way that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, lethal force is appropriate," Stoughton said.

    "The use of a firearm is the most reliable way to address that imminent threat," he added.

    Stoughton had a different opinion about the use-of-force approach in the case of Chauvin, who was convicted last week for murdering George Floyd last year. 

    "Both the knee across Mr. Floyd's neck and the prone restraint were unreasonable, excessive, and contrary to generally accepted police practices," he said.

  • Fatma Khaled

    PROTESTERS RALLIED ON SATURDAY FOR MA’KHIA BRYANT

    The Mansfield Coalition held a rally with around  25 people gathering at downtown square in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday afternoon.

    Several family members joined the rally including her grandmother Debra Wilcox who was wearing a T-shirt with Ma’Khia’s picture, according to the Mansfield News Journal. 

    "You're allies. I love you. This ain't a Black-white thing," said Wilcox to protesters during the rally.

    Wilcox said that her granddaughter lived in Mansfield for a short time earlier in her life

    "She was a good girl. The truth of this is going to come out," she said.

  • Debbie White

    CRIPPLING GRIEF

    The grieving mother of Ma'Khia Bryant has likened her loss to the family of Breonna Taylor, tearfully admitting: "now I know what it's like to lose a child".

    Paula Bryant's daughter Ma'Khia, 16, was shot dead by police in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday during an apparent knife fight sparked by an unmade at her foster home.

    The teen's death came mere hours after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

    Paula Bryant said she was at the dentist when she got the call about what happened to Ma'Khia.

    "This is so unreal, the hurt that I feel, I'm devastated. I was shocked when I heard the news. It was unbelievable," she told CNN. "No parent should have to go through this."

  • Debbie White

    ACTIVISTS ARE CALLING FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO COLUMBUS POLICING PRACTICES 

    Some activists in Ohio are pushing for a federal probe to investigate Columbus police’s practices following the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant.

    Activists want the Department of Justice to launch an investigation similar to the one that the Biden administration announced this week which will look into the Minneapolis policing practices, according to NBC News.

    "Now that we're here and we've had a consistent decade of patterns and practices of ineptitude and racism, our call is for the Justice Department to investigate," Jasmine Ayres, a community organizer told NBC.

    Hana Abdur-Rahim is another activist who agrees that the Department of Justice should launch a probe that investigates policing habits in Columbus, according to NBC. 

    Abdur-Rahim is filing a lawsuit against Columbus police alleging that an officer used excessive force by pepper-spraying her during a protest in 2017.

    Black residents, who make up around 28% of Columbus' population, made around half of all use-of-force incidents from 2015 to 2019, according to a city data report.  

  • Debbie White

    WHAT SPARKED THE FATAL FIGHT?

    Ma’Khia Bryant’s foster mom, Angela Moore, said the argument started between the 16-year-old and two other former foster children over a “messy house and unmade bed,” CNN reported.

    The other former foster children were there last Tuesday to celebrate Moore’s birthday.

    “It was over keeping the house clean,” Moore told the broadcaster.

    “The older one told them to clean up the house because ‘Mom doesn’t like the house dirty.’ So that’s how it all started.”

    The foster mom also told CNN that Bryant said, “you’re not the guardian of me.”

    Moore added: “They argue all the time, but I never thought it would escalate like that.”

    Protests have taken place in Columbus and beyond over Ma'Khia's death

     

  • Debbie White

    MA'KHIA 'ANGEL IN HEAVEN'

    Ma'Khia Bryant's mom really wants the wider public to focus on the good things in her 16-year-old daughter's short life.

    Paula Bryant, the teen's biological mother, told CNN she's keen for others "to remember Ma'Khia… the good things about Ma'Khia, the loving things about Ma'Khia,"

    "Ma'Khia I believe is in heaven. She's an angel."

     

  • Debbie White

    ROW OVER CLEANING ESCALATED IN STREET

    On Thursday, Angela Moore, who was fostering Ma'Khia, revealed the teen had been feuding with two other girls over an unmade bed shortly before the fight that would end her life.

    Moore said two of her former foster children had come to her home in Columbus on Tuesday to celebrate her birthday when the young women and Ma'Khia began arguing over housekeeping.

    "It was over keeping the house clean," Moore said. "The older one told them to clean up the house because 'Mom doesn't like the house dirty. So that's how it all started."

    "You're not the guardian of me," Bryant apparently told one of the girls, Moore said when recounting the story.

    "They argue all the time," Moore recalled, "but I never thought it would escalate like that."

  • Debbie White

    OVER 39,000 SIGN PETITION DEMANDING ‘JUSTICE FOR MA’KHIA’

    More than 39,000 people have signed a petition urging “justice” for Ma’Khia Bryant.

    The petition page reads: “On April 20th 2021, another beautiful black life was stolen from us when a white police officer with Columbus Police Department shot and killed 16 year old Ma’Khia Bryant outside her home. Ma’Khia was being attacked and called the police for help. 

    “We will not let Ma’Khia become just another hashtag.

    "Justice would mean that Ma’Khia would still be alive, safe in her home with her family. Ma’Khia was an honor roll student and was loved deeply by her friends and family.  

    “The undersigned of this petition demand that the State of Ohio, City of Columbus and the Columbus Police Department immediately terminate and arrest the officer who fatally shot Ma’Khia, not once but four times.”

  • Debbie White

    FOSTER CARE IN OHIO 'FALLS FAR SHORT OF CLIENTS'

    "Foster care in Ohio – like foster care virtually everywhere – falls far short of the needs of its clients," writes Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle of Ma'Khia Bryant's death.

    He adds: "We don’t know what’s in her mind, and we’ll never know because she’s dead.

    "She was in foster care. Relatives describe her as an affectionate and loving person with hopes of being restored to her mother’s custody. Even so, any path to foster care is traumatic.

    "While we don’t know the specific needs of this particular child, we know that in 2018, in Franklin County, where Columbus is the seat, nearly 14,000 reports of children in crisis were received."

    He added that while Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the state legislature has been working on improving Ohio’s foster care system a "$1 billion initiative to improve the situation, laudable as it is, will come too late for Ma’Khia".

  • Debbie White

    WAS MA'KHIA BRYANT IN 'FEAR OF HER LIFE'?

    Ma’Khia Bryant was the 16-year-old black girl who was fatally shot by police in Columbus, Ohio.

    She was in foster care with Franklin County Children’s Services at the time of her death.

    Her grandmother, Debra Wilcox, described her as a shy and quiet girl, who liked making hair and dance videos on TikTok.

    Body camera footage released by officers showed her charging at two people with a knife.

    “The fact that I see what I saw on that video is not how I know my Ma’Khia,” Wilcox said.

    “I don’t know what happened there unless she was fearful for her life.”

  • Debbie White

    MA’KHIA BRYANT’S DEATH IS AN ‘UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY’, SAYS OFFICIAL

    The Director of Columbus Department of Public Safety Ned Pettus described Tuesday's fatal shooting as an “unspeakable tragedy for everyone involved.”

    In a video on YouTube, Pettus said that details of the teen's death is still under investigation.

    “We have to recognize that to our black friends and neighbors, this is yet another grievous, emotional wound on top of so many that have preceded it,” he said.

    “Our black community is emotionally exhausted,” he added.

    Pettus stressed that recognizing the pain of the black community is equally important as pushing for answers, transparency, and accountability.

    "We can’t lose sight of the history of trauma and pain in our black community. We have to face that and work to heal it," he said.

  • Debbie White

    MA'KHIA'S FAMILY TO LAUNCH LAWSUIT

    The bereaved family of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant, who died after being struck by an Ohio cop’s gunshots on Tuesday, believes the foster family system failed her and is looking to sue.

    The family has already started the process of consulting with an attorney and plans on moving forward to take legal action.

    But the specifics as to who would be put on legal notice and when remain unclear.

    A makeshift memorial is set up in memory of fatally shot 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant
  • Debbie White

    LAWSUIT PLANS AFTER TEEN KILLING

    Ma'Khia Bryant’s grieving family is filing a lawsuit demanding justice for the dead teenager, who was shot by the police in Columbus, Ohio, it has been claimed.

    Bryant’s cousin Deja Torrence told Insider on Friday that her mom, Hazel Bryant – Ma'Khia's aunt – and Ma’Khia’s mother Paula Bryant are considering legal action.

    The family is reportedly in talks with a lawyer.

    Torrence said: "Someone has to be held accountable.

    "The family just doesn't want this to be another senseless killing that goes under the rug and gets overlooked."

  • Debbie White

    WOMAN WEPT IN COP CAR AS PARAMEDICS TRIED TO SAVE MA'KHIA

    In the immediate aftermath of Ma'Khia's fatal shooting, Police Officer Nicholas Reardon faced recrimination at the scene.

    However, his split-second decision to shoot her was commended by the national Fraternal Order of Police, which called it an act of heroism – but one with tragic results.

    Meanwhile, Serge Akpalo, the only black officer who responded to the 911 call, began to gather and separate the various witnesses and placed them in police vehicles.

    Shai-Onta Lana Craig-Watkins, 20, the first woman to allegedly be attacked by Bryant, was put in the back seat. Dashcam footage showed her weeping for several minutes as dozens of cops from a neighboring department arrived in the street.

    An ambulance arrived at 4.52pm, 20 minutes after police first responded – and left seven minutes later.

  • Debbie White

    'YOU SHOOT MY BABY'

    After teen Ma'Khia Bryant was fatally shot in the street, and her body collapsed onto the ground, a man yelled: "No! You ain't shoot my (expletive) baby! You shot my (expletive) baby!"

    Police officer Nicholas Reardon replied: "She had a knife. She just went at her."

    A black man, who lives across the street, can be heard yelling in the footage: "You have no respect for life. No, actually, you have no respect for black life."

    Another neighbor was heard on body camera footage saying: "You ever hear of de-escalating? No, you guys just shoot."

     

  • Debbie White

    'GET DOWN' – COP ORDERS BEFORE SHOOTING

    In those next 11 seconds, Ma'Khia Bryant was seen on surveillance footage charging at 20-year-old Shai-Onta Lana Craig-Watkins with a kitchen knife.

    She then moved on to 22-year-old Tionna Bonner before police officer Reardon yelled, "get down!" and fired four consecutive shots into her chest.

    The teenager's body collapsed to the ground.

    While cops took turns giving CPR, several neighbors filled the residential street.

    Others stood in their driveways and doorways, shaking their heads.

    Some had heard the fatal gunfire from their backyards, while others were in the middle of unloading groceries from their car.

  • Debbie White

    DETAILS OF 911 CALL DURING FIGHT…MORE

    Police officer Nicholas Reardon, who has been on the Columbus, Ohio, force since December 2019, was dispatched three minutes after that 911 call.

    Two other officers, Eric Channel and Serge Akpalo, followed shortly behind.

    "Hey, what's going on?" Reardon asked upon exiting his vehicle at 4.44pm.

    What should have been a routine day in a quiet Columbus neighborhood was shattered instantly last Tuesday, when a police officer fired four shots at 16-year-old MaKhia Bryant as she swung a knife at a young woman.

  • Debbie White

    DETAILS OF 911 CALL DURING FIGHT

    Hours of official police footage and bystander videos detail how the country's latest tragedy, involving one of its youngest victims, Ma'Khia Bryant unfolded in 35 minutes.

    At 4.32pm last Tuesday, a male dispatcher received a call from a female caller.

    It remains unclear who called 911, but Bryant's family members told the Associated Press that she herself summoned law enforcement.

    "We got these grown girls over here trying to fight us. Trying to stab us.

    "Trying to put their hands on our grandma", the caller says as the background filled with female voices screaming and arguing.

    "Get here now!" they urged.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CRIPPLING GRIEF

    The grieving mother of Ma'Khia Bryant has likened her loss to the family of Breonna Taylor, tearfully admitting: "now I know what it's like to lose a child".

    Paula Bryant's daughter Ma'Khia, 16, was shot dead by police in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday during an apparent knife fight sparked by an unmade at her foster home.

    The teen's death came mere hours after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

    Paula Bryant said she was at the dentist when she got the call about what happened to Ma'Khia.

    "This is so unreal, the hurt that I feel, I'm devastated. I was shocked when I heard the news. It was unbelievable," she told CNN. "No parent should have to go through this."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    'NO PROOF'

    Kayleigh McEnany has slammed Jen Psaki for "damaging" comments on the fatal Ma'Khia Bryant shooting that tied the teen's death to race.

    The ex-White House secretary for former US President Donald Trump condemned her replacement for "demonising" the officer involved and "dubbing the police as racist."

    The 16-year-old black teen was shot by police in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, mere hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three counts of manslaughter and murder charges in the killing of George Floyd.

    Angela Moore, her foster mom, said Bryant was involved in a fight with two other girls over housekeeping.

    Psaki told reporters on Wednesday: "She was a child. We're thinking of her friends and family in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss.

    "We know that police violence disproportionately impacts black and Latino people in 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."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TWEET STORM

    Basketball superstar LeBron James’s threatening “YOU’RE NEXT” tweet wasn't flagged by Twitter for violating its policies – with Trump describing the post as "racist".

    LeBron sent the tweet – featuring a photo of white Colombus, Ohio, police officer Nicolas Reardon – following the fatal cop shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant on Tuesday.

    But the deletion was not prompted by any outrage by Twitter's normally-censorial overseers, it emerged on Friday.

    That is despite the platform having suspended or banned accounts like former-president Trump.

    “Our teams cannot evaluate deleted Tweets since they no longer exist on the service”, according to an email response received by The Washington Times.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    COPS OUT

    Seven North Carolina cops have been suspended and three have quit after two days of protests following the police shooting of dad-of-10 Andrew Brown Jr as he was driving away – as pressure grows on officers to release bodycam footage.

    “I’m working tirelessly to make sure this sheriff’s office stays afloat,” Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office Tommy Wooten told WAVY.com on Friday after confirming the total number of deputies – including the deputy who fired the shot that killed Brown – were off patrol pending the outcome of a state's investigation.

    “We have other sheriff’s offices coming in and rotating shifts with my people.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED – MA’KHIA ‘LAWSUIT’ 

    Both Bryant's biological mother, Paula, and Torrence’s mother, Hazel Bryant, are in close communication since the devastating news hit them on Tuesday.

    The specifics as to who would be put on legal notice and when remain unclear.

    However, the cousin fingered the foster system for failing Ma'Khia Bryant for they had custody over her when she was slain.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MA'KHIA 'LAWSUIT' 

    The grieving kin of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant who died after being struck by an Ohio cop’s gunshots on Tuesday believes the foster family system failed her and is looking to sue.

    The family has already started the process of consulting with an attorney and plans on moving forward to take legal action.

    "Someone has to be held accountable," the late teen’s cousin, Deja Torrence, said in an interview with Insider, without being specific as to who that might be.

    "The family just doesn't want this to be another senseless killing that goes under the rug and gets overlooked."

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