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Professors quickly condemn Columbus police shooting of knife-wielding black girl

Bodycam footage also shows a black man kicking a girl on the ground

Academics quickly condemned a fatal police shooting of a black teenage girl that occurred on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus police officers responded to a call but due to the caller hanging up on the dispatcher, knew only that someone was attacking someone else with a knife. The video (below) appears to show a white cop shooting a black teenage girl, and then a black officer and a white officer trying to revive the girl.

The department held a late-night briefing to show the body camera footage and report on what it knew so far — a clock on the officer’s laptop shows the briefing began around 10:50 p.m.

The footage shows the unidentified officer approaching a scene where the girl who died, Makiyah Bryant, appears to attack another girl with a knife.

A black man can be seen kicking the girl on the ground before the cop shoots Bryant four times. The media has used alternative spellings of Bryant’s name, including Makhia and Ma’Khia. It was not immediately apparent the race of the girl who can be seen on camera being attacked by Bryant and the black man.

Despite these facts, professors condemned the shooting within hours.

“My whole heart is breaking,” Letisha Brown, a professor of sociology and gender studies at Virginia Tech, tweeted the morning of April 21. “#BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName #MakiyahBryant should still be among us,” Brown said.


“Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, all of us: Abolition IS and always has been our issue. Ma’Kiah Bryant called the police seeking help and safety and they murdered her in broad daylight,” former Ohio State University clinical Professor Sarah Nayeem tweeted in response to Brown’s tweet. “#AbolishThePolice Police violence has always been a public health and mental health crisis,” the psychiatrist said.

“This morning I’m following Dr. @divafeminist – Columbus-based Black feminist scholar and analyst – for the best insights into the senseless killing of #MakhiaBryant,” Johns Hopkins history Professor Martha Jones tweeted Wednesday morning.


“This is how Columbus police respond to a community in pain after an officer killed a Black girl. #MakhiaBryant #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice,” Ohio State women and gender studies Professor Treva Lindsey tweeted on Tuesday night, before the police press conference.

National Public Radio, as pointed out by Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott, said that new details could emerge and “facts” could turn out to not be true.

“This is a developing story,” NPR said at the bottom of a story about the incident.

“Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops,” the publication said.

MORE: Minnesota university rushes to condemn police shooting of Daunte Wright


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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.