Witness to MaKhia Bryants shooting tells officer he has no respect for Black life | TheHill – The Hill

Witnesses at the scene when 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed said that the police officer involved had no regard for her life, The Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, Bryant was fatally shot in the back four times by a Columbus, Ohio, police officer, according to body camera footage released this week. 

The officer, identified as Nicholas Reardon, shot at Bryant after she appeared to lunge at another person at the scene. He claimed in the footage that she had a knife in her hand. 

Following the shooting, witnesses at the scene slammed the police officer, stating that he could have de-escalated the situation instead of opening fire. 

“You have no respect for life,” Bryant’s neighbor can be heard telling Reardon, according to the body camera footage the AP reported. “No, actually, you have no respect for Black life.”

Another neighbor also condemned Reardon’s handling of the situation, which involved a group of girls fighting. 

“You ever hear of de-escalating?” the other bystander asked Reardon. “No, you guys just shoot.”

Reardon reportedly opened fire within 11 seconds of arriving on the scene, according to the AP.

Several officers performed CPR on Bryant in the wake of her shooting, but she passed away as a result of her injuries.

Since Bryant’s death, Columbus officials have urged the public to remain patient as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations looks into the shooting.

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus referred to the incident as a “horrendous tragedy,” but noted that they don’t have enough facts yet to draw conclusions on Reardon’s actions.

“Fast facts should not come at the cost of complete and accurate facts,” Pettus said earlier this week.

During a Wednesday press conference, Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods explained that Columbus officers are permitted to use their firearms when “there is an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life.”

Police released Reardon’s body camera footage within hours of the incident.