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Ma'Khia Bryant shooting: Columbus police release 911 calls, additional body camera footage

Columbus Police Shooting Ma'Khia Bryant
Posted at 2:23 PM, Apr 22, 2021

The Columbus Police Department on Wednesday released additional footage that showed the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant and two 911 calls that preceded the arrival of police.

Body camera footage shows that Bryant was shot what appears to be four times by Officer Nicholas Reardon Tuesday as she swung a knife at another girl. She was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

According to NPR, Reardon joined the Columbus police department in 2019. Officials said Tuesday that he has been removed from street duty for the time being.

At a Wednesday press conference, Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Woods shared two 911 audio clips — one of which exhibited the chaos of the scene at which Reardon arrived.

The first 911 call, which lasted several minutes, featured yelling in the background. The caller, who remains unidentified, told the operator that there was a group of girls “trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on my grandma.”

“We need a police officer here now,” the caller says.

The line eventually went dead.

The second 911 call, which appeared to come from a different person, lasted only a few seconds. The caller quickly informed the 911 operator that police had arrived.

Police could not confirm if either caller was Bryant herself. Her aunt, Hazel Bryant, told NPR on Tuesday that Ma’Khia had called 911 prior to the shooting.

Columbus police also released additional body camera footage from Reardon’s partners, who offered treatment to Bryant at the scene before she was transported to a local hospotal.

According to police officials on Wednesday, officers received the first 911 call at 4:32 p.m. ET. They were dispatched at 4:35 p.m. ET, and officers arrived on the scene at 4:44 p.m. ET.

Reardon’s body camera footage shows he fired the fatal shots about 11 seconds after exiting his car.

"I understand the outrage and emotion around this incident — a teenage girl is dead, and she's dead at the hands of a police officer," said Ned Pettus, director of the Columbus Public Safety Department. "Under any circumstances, that is a horrendous tragedy. But the video shows that there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events and, though it's not easy, wait for the facts as determined by an independent investigation."

Bryant's shooting has sparked a number of peaceful protests in the Columbus area in recent nights.

Click here to view the footage released by the Columbus Police Department on Wednesday. It contains graphic images that may be difficult to watch.