Rashida Tlaib: Reaction to Ma'Khia Bryant shooting 'maddening,' no justification for 'the killing of a child'

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Thursday expressed her anger over some reactions to the police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio. 

Bryant, 16, was shot by an officer in Columbus while she appeared to be attacking another girl with a knife on Tuesday. Tlaib said too many people are justifying the shooting by trying to “strip away the fact that a child was killed.” 

“Ma’Khia’s TikTok videos show her childhood and joy,” the Michigan Democrat wrote on Twitter. “Her smile at the end of the videos just breaks me a little more. It’s been maddening to see so many people strip away the fact that a child was killed.”

“We cannot be a society that justifies the killing of a child,” Tlaib continued. 

(Columbus Police Department)

As soon as police pulled up, Bryant could be seen tackling another female to the ground with what appeared to be a knife in her hand. The girl can then be seen charging at another nearby female who was pinned between a car while raising the apparent knife in the air, at which point the officer fired four shots, fatally wounding the girl. 

According to bodycam footage, a man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!” 

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her!” 

Democrats — even up to the White House — were outraged by the police shooting on the day of Derek Chauvin’s verdict. 

“Black girls deserve girlhood — uninterrupted. Black girls deserve to grow up and become women,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., wrote on Twitter.

“While the verdict was being read in the Derek Chauvin trial, Columbus police shot and killed a sixteen-year-old girl. Her name was Ma’Khia Bryant. She should be alive right now,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said on Twitter on Wednesday.


“Let me just say, since you gave me the opportunity, the killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by the Columbus police is tragic. She was a child,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We know that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people and communities and that Black women and girls like Black men and boys experience higher rates of police violence.”


Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther mourned the loss of the young victim but defended the officer’s use of deadly force.

“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Ginther, a Democrat, told reporters. “But a family is grieving tonight and this young [16-year-old] girl will never be coming home.”

“This never should have happened,” the teen’s mother, Paula Bryant, told 10TV while a tear streamed down her face. “She’s a loving girl.” 

The teen’s family says Ma’Khia Bryant was the one who called police and picked up a knife to defend herself in a neighborhood fight. 

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