As the world cheered at the guilty verdict of disgraced cop Derek Chauvin, another black life was lost to a police shooting. Ma’Khia Bryant was a 16 year old girl living in Columbus, Ohio. She was an honor student, Her mother described her as a loving caring girl. She made hair tutorials on TikTok, she was just like any other teenager. However, according to internet sources, Bryant was living in a foster home and was a target of bullying by her foster sisters. On a Tuesday afternoon, Ma’khia was about to be jumped by these girls. Someone called the police. To defend herself in this fight, Ma’Khia grabbed a weapon, a knife. When the cops came on the scene, they saw Ma’Khia about to stab one of the girls who jumped her. The cop shot Ma’Khia four times in the back, Bryant died at the scene.
Now, not much is known about what led to this tragic situation. However, reading a few opinions on twitter and facebook, many people are were saying that the cop’s response was justified. Which is reasonable, she was about to stab someone. However, the officer should’ve deescalated the situation, not use deadly force within the first 15 seconds of being there. One reason why the cop was wrong is because Ma’khia wasn’t attacking him. She didn’t lunge at him with a knife, her back was turned towards him. He could’ve used a taser in this situation to subdue her but didn’t. Instead, he reached for a gun and shot a 16 year old child. He could’ve taken her out of the situation and have Bryant taken to a clinic that provides mental health and counseling. Instead, we have another black mother preparing her child for a funeral, another black mother who woke up this morning knowing that she won’t experience her daughter going to prom, going to college, or get married.
Now, before you say, “but…she had a knife and was going to kill that girl!”, there have been many cases that cops were dealing with a violent person using weapons and the cops arrested them. One example of this is the case of Eliza Wasani who, back in 2017, Stabbed an uber driver to death within minutes of driving with him. She was found hiding behind a nearby building holding a machete and a butcher knife. Cops had to tase her down and took her into to custody. She is currently serving a 27-year sentence. So why is the Ma’khia’s Case justified, especially since her back was turned and wasn’t attacking the cop?
Lastly, I am not saying that Bryant did was good. Her response to bullying was violent and we could’ve ended another life, it would’ve sent her to prison. I am saying the cop had no right to use deadly force. Ma’khia’s death could’ve been prevented if the police just gave the same response they gave Wasani.