Activists Outraged That Columbus Police Prevented Two People From Being Stabbed
President condemns actions of officers that saved lives; plus how does Ohio's SYG law fit in here?
Yesterday in Columbus, Ohio as the Chauvin verdict was announced, 16 year-old Ma’Khia Bryant attempted to stab multiple teenage girls when police arrived and shot her.
Watch the video and decide for yourself, though please be warned of the graphic nature:
This is what the victim in pink said to police immediately after:
Here are five stills from the body cam footage showcasing what happened. This is when the officer walked up to the group arguing in the driveway. At this moment Bryant (jeans, black shirt), armed with a knife, lunges at another girl (shorts):
This is the moment that the officer draws his gun. Bryant’s black shirt, pink undershirt, and jeans are pictured on the left side of the frame:
The first girl attacked on camera is on the ground; a male individual is to the right kicking the first girl in the head:
Here is a sharper image:
Woods said Wednesday that police had received a 911 call about the attempted stabbing that brought officer to the scene. Police had not established as of Wednesday who placed that call.
In the 911 call placed at 4:32 p.m. Tuesday, screaming can be heard as the caller asks police to come and says someone is trying to stab them. The police dispatcher tries to get more information and there is screaming before the call is disconnected.
A second 911 call, placed around 4:48 p.m., resulted in the caller hanging up after seeing a police cruiser on the scene.
Columbus police Officer Nicholas Reardon, hired in December 2019, was the first officer on scene and was identified Wednesday as the officer who shot Bryant.
Reardon's body camera showed what played out when he arrived on the scene.
President Biden immediately slammed the actions of the police:
Valerie Jarrett slammed police for intervening to prevent the stabbings:
Benjamin Crump glossed over Bryant’s very visible knife:
In a now-deleted tweet, Lebron James threatened the officer for intervening and preventing the girl in pink from being stabbed to death:
Media unified behind the narrative that another racist police-involved shooting occurred and this time the victim was a defenseless 16 year-old girl.
Then Twitter began with excuses. This defense, which trended for a short time, was most compelling:
“Stand Your Ground” went into effect in Ohio earlier this year (read the bill’s text here.) The law, like that of others passed by several dozen states, means a person has no duty to retreat from an attacker in a place where they are legally allowed to be present.
It expands that description of self-defense to apply in public and not just in a person’s home or vehicle.
The “Stand Your Ground” law says you cannot be the aggressor and takes away the so-called “duty to retreat.”
Regardless of SYG, the moment you pursue as the threat is fleeing is the exact moment you become the aggressor and are not looked upon as acting in self defense in a court of law, regardless whether or not your state is a SYG state. This is a lesson that has been drilled into my brain throughout numerous legal and force-on-force courses involving SYG, castle doctrine, and defensive gun usage. Regardless the weapon used, the principle still applies. There was a 9-1-1 call to police that resulted in the officers being dispatched, but it hasn’t been confirmed that Bryant was the one who made the call — furthermore, if Bryant made the call and saw officers there, why still advance on a person clearly retreating? The first girl was backing away to the point where she fell to the ground, the second into a car where she couldn't get away from Bryant fast enough. Police can be heard shouting “Get down! Get down!” on the body cam footage but Bryant paid them no attention. It’s hard to assert that at the time she attempted to stab the girls she was actively pursuing that Bryant was in fear of serious bodily injury to her person. If you are the attacker and you use deadly force or if there is no longer a threat and your actions are retaliatory, that isn’t usually recognized by courts as a Stand Your Ground defense.
Had Bryant been a legal possessor (of age as recognized by law) and had a handgun instead of a knife, the situation regarding her ability to claim DGU would remain the same.
“What if she had been white?” asked some on Twitter.
Like this 16 year-old one week earlier?
A 16-year-old Maryland resident who was fatally shot by a state trooper while armed with a toy gun and knife was a “sweet young man” and honors student, relatives said.
If race is that important in this story, then why are the same people asking this question wholly unconcerned that the two victims chased by Bryant are black, particular the black female pinned to the vehicle clutching a dog while trying to shield herself from Bryant’s blows? Is the victims’s skin color inconvenient to this narrative? Does her life not matter? Imagine if the police had showed up and declined to intervene, allowing Bryant to stab the female in pink. Imagine that body camera footage of officers just shouting at Bryant as she slices and dices her victim. The family of the girl in pink would protest officers for not intervening to save her life — either way, the cop is damned in the court of public opinion.
At this point what incentive do police have for protecting anyone anymore?
**TO ADD: One more thing — many on Twitter have asked “why couldn’t they have just shot her in the leg?”
Too many people think that the police in real life should respond like police in sitcoms, movies, or in cartoons. Look at this photo again:
“Shoot the leg” violates a big firearm rule, which is know your target and what’s behind it. What happens if the officer misses and strikes the victim in pink? What if the shot travels through Bryant’s leg and hit the victim? What if femoral arteries are struck in the process? Police aren’t trained to hit the smallest, most polite part of a suspect’s body, they are trained for center mass. Such directive in training has never existed, ever, in policing.
“What about using tasers?”
Data from some of the largest police departments in the nation reveals that officers rate their Tasers as effective as little as 55 percent of the time, or just a little better than a coin flip.
APM Reports found more than 250 fatal police shootings nationwide between 2015 and 2017 that occurred after a Taser failed to incapacitate a suspect. In 106 of them, the suspect became more violent after receiving the electrical shock, according to a review of case files and media reports, suggesting the Taser may have made a bad situation worse.
A Los Angeles Times review of department statements and reports found that nearly a quarter of the people shot by on-duty LAPD officers last year — at least eight of 36 — were wounded or killed during encounters in which officers said they tried to use a Taser without success.
Just last month, from Nashville:
While tasers are often an officer’s first line of defense to get someone to comply, experts tell News 2 there are many times they don’t work.
The girl in pink is about to potentially be stabbed to death. Choosing the less reliable deterrent that has a coin-toss fail rate is a courtesy to the attacker at the expense of saving the victim’s life.