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Black and Brown Lives Matter: Cases of Police Killings and Assaults


On April 20, 2021, Ma'Khia Bryant, a Black 16-year-old girl, was fatally shot by a police officer who was responding to a 911 call in Columbus, Ohio. Police were called to respond to a physical altercation at Bryant's residence; Bryant's family has stated that she placed the call. Body camera footage from the responding officers shows that as they arrived at the residence, Bryant was holding a knife and moving quickly towards other women outside the home. Officer Nicholas Reardon issued verbal commands, but when Bryant did not respond, he fired his service pistol and hit her. A short time later, Bryant was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The short time between when Reardon arrived on the scene and when he fatally fired at Bryant, in combination with the fact that the incident occurred less than an hour before the announcement of the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, have brought national attention to this incident.

Ongoing and Potential Investigations

Multiple media outlets reported that Reardon was taken off the street during the course of an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.  The investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is now complete, as of July 7, 2021, and it is unclear if Reardon is still employed by the Columbus Police Department.  The investigative bureau has referred the case to Franklin County Prosecutor G. Gary Tyack, and the prosecutor's office has said that it will eventually be referred to a Grand Jury, but the timeline for that has not yet been announced.

There have also been multiple reports that in the wake of Bryant's death, Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther has requested the US Department of Justice conduct a review of the Columbus Division of Police and the City of Columbus.