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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 5:06 pm    ::: Ma’Khia Bryant Reply Reply with quote

Ma’Khia Bryant: Columbus police release bodycam footage of officer’s fatal shooting of teen.

This one is uh... well let me just say there’s probably more to talk about here than any fatal police shooting I can remember.

https://nypost.com/2021/04/21/makhia-bryant-cops-release-911-calls-more-bodycam-of-fatal-shooting/



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Ex-Ref



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 7:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'd say that the video didn't show her to be the peacemaker that her family was saying she was. Unless I looked at it and missed something, it sure looked like she was trying to stab that girl!



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 7:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:
I'd say that the video didn't show her to be the peacemaker that her family was saying she was. Unless I looked at it and missed something, it sure looked like she was trying to stab that girl!


These images are the officer's body cam perspective in the instant before he fired his shots.



The tragic mayhem represented in this story and body cam footage is a clusterfuck of disordered lives and minds. God help us all if the only response we can ever come up with to scenes like this is a cop rolling up and opening fire.



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 8:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:
I'd say that the video didn't show her to be the peacemaker that her family was saying she was. Unless I looked at it and missed something, it sure looked like she was trying to stab that girl!


These images are the officer's body cam perspective in the instant before he fired his shots.



The tragic mayhem represented in this story and body cam footage is a clusterfuck of disordered lives and minds. God help us all if the only response we can ever come up with to scenes like this is a cop rolling up and opening fire.


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 8:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'm wondering if the other women will be charged with her death (manslaughter).

I read where the other women went to her house to confront her. The cop wouldn't know she was the original target. All he saw was her being the aggressor, getting ready to stab the woman in pink.

Quote:
According to her, several adult women had come to the foster home and started an altercation with the teenager, who had then called police, her biological father as well as her grandmother for help. Then to defend herself, Ma'Khia grabbed a knife. She said Ma’Khia had a knife but alleged she dropped it before being shot multiple times by a Columbus police officer.


https://meaww.com/who-is-hazel-bryant-ma-khia-bryant-aunt-says-adults-came-to-fight-niece-16-at-foster-home-shooting

And then there's the guy (her dad?) that is kicking the one on the ground.

Year, it's a mess.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 8:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I wish there was a better answer than shooting her, but I don't know what it is.

A warning shot might have stopped her, but cops don't do that (with good reason)

A taser might have stopped her, but when somebody already has a deadly weapon in hand you gotta go with one of your own



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 8:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
I wish there was a better answer than shooting her, but I don't know what it is.

A warning shot might have stopped her, but cops don't do that (with good reason)

A taser might have stopped her, but when somebody already has a deadly weapon in hand you gotta go with one of your own


I agree. Wasn't he or someone else saying to stop or get down, I think I read? If she didn't respond to that, I don't know what option he had left.



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 04/21/21 8:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:
I'd say that the video didn't show her to be the peacemaker that her family was saying she was. Unless I looked at it and missed something, it sure looked like she was trying to stab that girl!


These images are the officer's body cam perspective in the instant before he fired his shots.



The tragic mayhem represented in this story and body cam footage is a clusterfuck of disordered lives and minds. God help us all if the only response we can ever come up with to scenes like this is a cop rolling up and opening fire.


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?


I don’t have a pat answer to that, actually. If anyone on the face of this earth was attacking mrs jammer with a knife exactly as this kid was in these images, regardless of whether she’d actually injured mrs jammer yet and hopefully before she had a chance to, I would hope to be there in order to turn that person into Swiss cheese.

I think we have to call this girl, if we’re being honest, the assailant. And, no matter what happened prior to this moment, these girls who were being attacked by her, we would have to call the victims. If I was the person cowering on the car with a young person bearing down on me swinging that kitchen knife at me, and the police rolled up before she could cut into my body with that sized blade, I would want them to very very quickly shoot that person.

I honestly think that I’ve never seen anything like this on a video. It does, however, so harken back to the world I came from. The family mayhem and drama and the potential for things like this to happen. I think this incident speaks to the incredible unpredictability of what cast of characters in what roles can lead to what the fuck kind of outcomes.

I just don’t know. I feel like, when cops come upon a dispute like this, domestic, neighborhood, teenagers, etc. Jesus. IDK. I’ve always said in my past life as an anti-police lefty that police should never be the ones who INTRODUCE deadly force into a situation. And I was just getting ready to type that. But this cop didn’t do that. If was already there when he arrived on the scene.

I will say this. Cops were different back where I come from. Back in the day. They would have busted that girl’s arm and head with a night stick and then stood around laughing about it. But the kid would be alive.



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PostPosted: 04/22/21 1:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:
I'd say that the video didn't show her to be the peacemaker that her family was saying she was. Unless I looked at it and missed something, it sure looked like she was trying to stab that girl!


These images are the officer's body cam perspective in the instant before he fired his shots.



The tragic mayhem represented in this story and body cam footage is a clusterfuck of disordered lives and minds. God help us all if the only response we can ever come up with to scenes like this is a cop rolling up and opening fire.


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?


I don’t have a pat answer to that, actually. If anyone on the face of this earth was attacking mrs jammer with a knife exactly as this kid was in these images, regardless of whether she’d actually injured mrs jammer yet and hopefully before she had a chance to, I would hope to be there in order to turn that person into Swiss cheese.

I think we have to call this girl, if we’re being honest, the assailant. And, no matter what happened prior to this moment, these girls who were being attacked by her, we would have to call the victims. If I was the person cowering on the car with a young person bearing down on me swinging that kitchen knife at me, and the police rolled up before she could cut into my body with that sized blade, I would want them to very very quickly shoot that person.

I honestly think that I’ve never seen anything like this on a video. It does, however, so harken back to the world I came from. The family mayhem and drama and the potential for things like this to happen. I think this incident speaks to the incredible unpredictability of what cast of characters in what roles can lead to what the fuck kind of outcomes.

I just don’t know. I feel like, when cops come upon a dispute like this, domestic, neighborhood, teenagers, etc. Jesus. IDK. I’ve always said in my past life as an anti-police lefty that police should never be the ones who INTRODUCE deadly force into a situation. And I was just getting ready to type that. But this cop didn’t do that. If was already there when he arrived on the scene.

I will say this. Cops were different back where I come from. Back in the day. They would have busted that girl’s arm and head with a night stick and then stood around laughing about it. But the kid would be alive.




The moment the police arrived on the scene, she should have dropped the knife and let them take over. Because if they have to come on the scene and assess who's who, they are going to pick the aggressor every time.
It was at this point the police had to make a split decision.

If they had deployed anything but deadly force and failed and she was able to follow through her stabbing this other girl, what would we be talking about today? For example, people say what about the taser? The problem with a taser is depending on body type and/or the body chemistry at the time, a taser can fail miserably, they are unlikely to get neuromuscular incapacitation because it should be a center mass shot. Where is the bulk of fat on an obese person? Cops aren't trained to injury or slow you down when a deadly encounter is present (maybe that is the issue, but the way the laws read now... when a deadly situation is present they can act accordingly. A 16-year-old with a knife can kill whoever they are trying to get after... so the deadly encounter was definitely present here.

I blame the parents and the adults completely here. This is 100% on them... There were about 15 adults that were on the scene before the cops got there and before this 16 yr old was shot by the cops. They may have not pulled the trigger but there were about the 10-15 toxic adults on the scene recording, and barbarically cheering this fight on. That was the girl's father kicking at the other woman on the ground instead of trying to restrain his daughter once the police arrived. He left her exposed to a law enforcement interaction with a deadly weapon in her hand. This is their fault



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PostPosted: 04/22/21 8:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Smoovie wrote:

I blame the parents and the adults completely here. This is 100% on them... There were about 15 adults that were on the scene before the cops got there and before this 16 yr old was shot by the cops. They may have not pulled the trigger but there were about the 10-15 toxic adults on the scene recording, and barbarically cheering this fight on. That was the girl's father kicking at the other woman on the ground instead of trying to restrain his daughter once the police arrived. He left her exposed to a law enforcement interaction with a deadly weapon in her hand. This is their fault


Truth. For all our (alleged) social evolution, our human race still has so much of The Wild West at its core. 'cept nowadays, we have digital records of it all.



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PostPosted: 04/22/21 8:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yeah, while my knee-jerk reaction is still "there had to be/has to be a better way"... how are they going to know the kid with the knife is the kid who called them for help?



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PostPosted: 04/22/21 8:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Queenie wrote:
Yeah, while my knee-jerk reaction is still "there had to be/has to be a better way"... how are they going to know the kid with the knife is the kid who called them for help?


Really. I mean, even with more than split-second-decision time, what cop thinks the kid with the flailing knife is the one who called for help? Shocked

All tragic.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 4:09 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Queenie wrote:
Yeah, while my knee-jerk reaction is still "there had to be/has to be a better way"... how are they going to know the kid with the knife is the kid who called them for help?


The adults knew she had the knife before this law enforcement encounter. The crisis should have been handled before the police arrived. Had the police officer been a few seconds late, someone was going to be dead either way. The fuse was lit and you had the father there agitating the situation.
When this lone cop showed up, I heard the cop say "What's going on" I saw the girl push another girl to the ground from behind. Saw a girl in pink try to pull her off of her. Saw the girl jump up and push the girl back to the hood of the car and raise knives. Saw a cop shoot the girl with a knife and a girl in pink run away. Then it dawned on me we were watching this all unfold from a police body cam. So this part of the altercation happened within a
second, from when this lone cop got out of the car and then when you watch it from the house security camera, there was no way that cop could have defused that.

https://youtu.be/XgIytITAWe0



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 6:59 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?


This is more of a case of poor training, and likely subconscious racism than the psychopathy of Chauvin.

Obviously, the cop didn't know how to de-escalate situations - and it's clear that they aren't trained in that.

Second - again..they are trained to shoot and kill. Obviously, it is understandable that the cop would want to stop a stabbing, but there is no need to shoot for the chest, if they are going to shoot at all. There were also other options available..

There is clearly a white supremacist infiltration of the police force - we saw it last summer, we saw it at the capital..but we also have an issue with training. I would wager a lot police kills look like this or Adam Toledo - rather than Chauvin's smiling face as he kills someone in front of others.

Police aren't executioners. We need to stop allowing them to be. But further..this looked like an example of poor training..if the only de-escalation technique they know is "shoot for the chest."



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 7:16 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

When one person is stabbing another you're past the point of de-escalation.

Once the decision to fire is made, aiming for center of body mass is correct. It's the largest and easiest to hit part of the target. It's easy to put a bullet wherever you want on a stationary target in the controlled space of a firing range. When it's a real person flailing about with another one right behind them in a life or death situation it's not that simple.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 7:51 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?


This is more of a case of poor training, and likely subconscious racism than the psychopathy of Chauvin.

Obviously, the cop didn't know how to de-escalate situations - and it's clear that they aren't trained in that.

Second - again..they are trained to shoot and kill. Obviously, it is understandable that the cop would want to stop a stabbing, but there is no need to shoot for the chest, if they are going to shoot at all. There were also other options available..

There is clearly a white supremacist infiltration of the police force - we saw it last summer, we saw it at the capital..but we also have an issue with training. I would wager a lot police kills look like this or Adam Toledo - rather than Chauvin's smiling face as he kills someone in front of others.

Police aren't executioners. We need to stop allowing them to be. But further..this looked like an example of poor training..if the only de-escalation technique they know is "shoot for the chest."


Seems to me that the cop WAS trained correctly. Otherwise there would have been TWO black girls laying dead on the street.

And unless he was The Lone Ranger-good and could shoot that knife out of her moving hand, what else is he going to shot that would 100% keep her from harming the girl in pink? An arm or leg isn't going to get the job done.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 8:27 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
When one person is stabbing another you're past the point of de-escalation.

Once the decision to fire is made, aiming for center of body mass is correct. It's the largest and easiest to hit part of the target. It's easy to put a bullet wherever you want on a stationary target in the controlled space of a firing range. When it's a real person flailing about with another one right behind them in a life or death situation it's not that simple.


Truth.

mercfan3 wrote:
Police aren't executioners. We need to stop allowing them to be. But further..this looked like an example of poor training....


I shall bravely posit the theory that if YOU were The Girl In Pink, YOU'D not think that cop was poorly trained. If that Big Girl, in that moment, had no clue the cops were already there to 'save the day' so she could stand down, then she was in an adrenaline zone -- Pinkie was a-goner.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 8:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:
mercfan3 wrote:
Ex-Ref wrote:


That's what I saw.

Are you saying that the cop shouldn't have shot her?


This is more of a case of poor training, and likely subconscious racism than the psychopathy of Chauvin.

Obviously, the cop didn't know how to de-escalate situations - and it's clear that they aren't trained in that.

Second - again..they are trained to shoot and kill. Obviously, it is understandable that the cop would want to stop a stabbing, but there is no need to shoot for the chest, if they are going to shoot at all. There were also other options available..

There is clearly a white supremacist infiltration of the police force - we saw it last summer, we saw it at the capital..but we also have an issue with training. I would wager a lot police kills look like this or Adam Toledo - rather than Chauvin's smiling face as he kills someone in front of others.

Police aren't executioners. We need to stop allowing them to be. But further..this looked like an example of poor training..if the only de-escalation technique they know is "shoot for the chest."


Seems to me that the cop WAS trained correctly. Otherwise there would have been TWO black girls laying dead on the street.

And unless he was The Lone Ranger-good and could shoot that knife out of her moving hand, what else is he going to shot that would 100% keep her from harming the girl in pink? An arm or leg isn't going to get the job done.


I think if you shoot someone anywhere they are going to stop what they are doing. Like..shoot her in the butt Laughing



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 8:51 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
pilight wrote:
When one person is stabbing another you're past the point of de-escalation.

Once the decision to fire is made, aiming for center of body mass is correct. It's the largest and easiest to hit part of the target. It's easy to put a bullet wherever you want on a stationary target in the controlled space of a firing range. When it's a real person flailing about with another one right behind them in a life or death situation it's not that simple.


Truth.

mercfan3 wrote:
Police aren't executioners. We need to stop allowing them to be. But further..this looked like an example of poor training....


I shall bravely posit the theory that if YOU were The Girl In Pink, YOU'D not think that cop was poorly trained. If that Big Girl, in that moment, had no clue the cops were already there to 'save the day' so she could stand down, then she was in an adrenaline zone -- Pinkie was a-goner.


This isn’t a circumstance where I’d be looking to hold the police officer criminally accountable. He did what he was taught to do in that circumstance. I just don’t agree with what he was taught to do..

Don’t lose sight of a child dying here. She’s acting the way she is for a reason.

I think it’s both fair to say that this cop isn’t personally at fault, but that this is another example of the systemic change that needs to happen.

And btw, this is coming from someone who has had to de-escalate in a brawl situation where because of a medical condition, someone’s life was at risk...didn’t need a gun. So I just call bullshit on that being the only way. (And again, it’s a matter of training to me..)



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 10:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
I think if you shoot someone anywhere they are going to stop what they are doing. Like..shoot her in the butt Laughing


That actually crossed my mind, too -- anywhere from the waist down. Re: de-escalation? THAT was the job of the adults involved in the scenario, BEFORE the cops ever got there.

mercfan3 wrote:
Don’t lose sight of a child dying here. She’s acting the way she is for a reason.


As does EVERYONE, doing deeds good or evil and everything in between. And how might perspectives & opinions vary if the dead person was:

-- a 40 year old
-- a 40 year old male
-- a 40 year old black male who'd been attacking black or white woman
-- a 40 year old black male who'd been attacking a black or white man
-- a 40 year old white man
__________ etc.
What we have is an adult-sized human being attacking another human, with a knife. I hope that's all the cop saw, and his actions are justified.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 6:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Way too often the police end up in a situation where they are "forced" to use deadly force because of systemic issues that don't prioritize de-escalation. Or they set up encounters that are more antagonistic than they have to be from the get go.

IMO, this case is not one of them. The time to de-escalate happened before the officer arrived on site. There is no technique I know of that is designed to de-escalate when someone is pinned and the knife is in mid-swing.

And any bullet fired is deadly, not matter where the officer aims. Aim at the butt and miss slightly and you have a paraplegic, or a gut shot that punctures the intestines and causes sepsis, or you hit the femeral artery. Or they miss the more difficult shot and hit a bystander. Which to me means that the only reason an officer should ever be firing their weapon is because someone is in mortal peril, and it's the last desperate option.

In this case I can't help but put myself or someone I care about in the position of the person being attacked...and if someone has me pinned and swinging a knife at me, I would want the officer to shoot them in a way that will near 100% stop the attack and prevent me from being stabbed. I wouldn't be interested in the officer trying something that could maybe de-escalate or maybe be enough to end the threat.



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PostPosted: 04/23/21 7:27 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is so sad. This girl was already living in a difficult situation. It seems MANY of the adults in her life let her down. She was already in foster care. Her father is there, but he is involved with the confrontation. The two WOMEN that she was fighting with, 22 (in pink) and 19 years old (both former foster children of this home) come over while the foster mother is at work and probably antagonized her. Did they have a reason to be there? They were in the home when this started. If they were outside why did she not stay inside and lock the door? And, to go out armed with a knife. What did she actually plan to do? Would she have actually stabbed the woman in pink holding the dog? She paid a heavy price.

That cop had no time to de-escalate. When he is walking up his hand doesn't even appear to be on his firearm. When Ma'Khia tackles the woman to the ground the cop ALMOST goes down too. Her dad tries to kick that woman in the head in front of the cop.

I agree that the cop should not face any disciplinary actions. To have to make that split second decision has to be, in hindsight gut-wrenching. And to take four shots on a moving target is not easy to do EVEN at close range. He's lucky to not have hit anyone else.


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PostPosted: 05/08/21 8:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/08/us/columbus-makhia-bryant-foster-care.html#click=https://t.co/C16HbqpqUU



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PostPosted: 05/10/21 4:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is absolutely essential reading of how the system and adults failed these two kids. One thing that I object to is right here in the subtitle and also appears later in the piece. It says that Ma'Khia was "threatening" this other girl with a knife. I guess that's technically true according to audio? Uh. But no. What she was saying is of secondary importance to what she was attempting to do or, because we can never know what was going on in her mind, what it appeared she was attempting to do. Anyway. This is otherwise something everyone who has any interest in what is going on with young people in families, in a community, in a state such as Ohio, etc. and in foster homes I think in so many states, should absolutely read.

NYTimes: Ma’Khia Bryant’s Journey Through Foster Care Ended With an Officer’s Bullet

The 16-year-old girl was fatally shot while threatening a young woman with a knife. She had spent two years shuttling among Ohio foster homes, hoping to return to her mother.

By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Ellen Barry and Will Wright
May 8, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The voice on the 911 call is a teenage girl’s, and it is quavering, as if she has been crying.

“I want to leave this foster home,” she tells the dispatcher. “I want to leave this foster home.”

When two police officers arrived at the home in Columbus, Ohio, they reported later, they met an agitated ninth grader, Ja’Niah Bryant, who told them that the fighting at 3171 Legion Lane was getting worse and worse.

They said there was nothing they could do, and this seemed to push her over an edge. She became “irate,” the officers wrote in their report, and told them that if she was not allowed to leave, “she was going to kill someone.”

Twenty-three days later, Ja’Niah called 911 again, telling the police that she and her older sister were being threatened by two young women who used to live at the house. Officers arrived in the middle of a melee outside the house, and one of them fatally shot Ja’Niah’s 16-year-old sister, Ma’Khia Bryant, who was lunging at one of the women, brandishing a steak knife.

The shooting, which occurred moments before a jury in Minneapolis convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, released a new wave of anger over shootings by the police. To calm the furor, the Columbus police quickly released body camera footage, which showed some of the fight outside the house and, they said, demonstrated that the officer had acted to protect the other woman.

But Ms. Bryant’s tragic death was also preceded by a turbulent journey through the foster care system, which had cycled Ma’Khia through at least five placements in two years — after her own mother was found to be negligent — despite efforts by their grandmother to reunite the family.

Ohio places children in foster care at a rate 10 percent higher than the national average, and child welfare officials here are considerably less likely than in the country as a whole to place children with their relatives. Black children, like Ma’Khia and her sister, account for nearly a third of children removed from homes — nearly twice their proportion in the population.

A review of Ma’Khia’s pathway through foster care shows that it failed her in critical ways.

Research has demonstrated that children fare far better when they remain with family members, a practice known as kinship care. It also shows that each successive placement causes additional trauma, further setting back a child in crisis.

“Everybody knows and the research has proven over and over and over again that the best placement for children is with their kin,” said Ronald R. Browder, the president and chief executive of the Ohio Federation for Health Equity and Social Justice. “But the focus has always been on foster care.”

What the Bryant sisters wanted, Ja’Niah said, was to return to their family.

“We can go to Mommy or Grandma, it doesn’t matter, as long as we can get off the system,” Ja’Niah recalled Ma’Khia telling her younger siblings, who were also in foster care. “That was her biggest thing, she didn’t want to be in the foster care system until she was 18.”

A spokeswoman for Franklin County Children Services, which had custody of the siblings, declined to comment on Ma’Khia’s case, citing confidentiality laws. Angela Moore, their foster mother at the time of Ma’Khia’s death, talked about the teenager and the events leading up to her death but did not respond later to detailed questions about the Bryant girls and their care.

This account is based on interviews with Ma’Khia’s family members and acquaintances, as well as court documents, and other case records that were provided by her mother’s lawyer.

The oldest of four children born to Paula Bryant, a nursing assistant, and Myron Hammonds, Ma’Khia was removed from her mother’s home in 2018, and spent 16 months living with her grandmother Jeanene Hammonds.

When her grandmother was kicked out by her landlord, the siblings went into foster care and spent two years cycling through short-term placements, arrangements that dissolved one after another.

People who knew Ma’Khia had trouble recognizing her in the chaotic footage of the shooting released by the police. Staff members at her school saw her as quiet and diligent, the kind of student who would hug her teacher’s aide every morning before math. She had a tight knot of girlfriends, who lavished one another with affection. Aaliyaha Tucker, 16, recalled her once coming to school with her hair in an outrageous style she called a “rainbow horn,” extending vertically from the top of her head and then bursting into a mop.

“She didn’t care what other people thought of her,” said Aaliyaha, who allowed tears to run down her face. “She taught us how to love ourselves.”

By this spring, when Ma’Khia’s sister placed the first call to the police, her life in foster care had spiraled into dysfunction and disorder, family members said. And it was about to get much worse.

The chute of the system

In 2018, Paula Bryant had moved with her five children — including a teenage son from a previous relationship — into a house in West Columbus, where, she said in an interview, the landlords did not mind her credit problems. Mr. Hammonds, Ma’Khia’s father, did not live with the family and Ms. Bryant described herself as raising the children largely on her own.

The Hilltop neighborhood once housed blue-collar workers for a General Motors plant, but the plant was shuttered years ago, and many of the bungalows have been converted into cheap rentals. It has one of the highest crime rates in the city.

Andrea Douglass, 37, a pastor’s wife who lived two doors down from the Bryant family that year, has gotten used to turbulence. When shootings occur on her block, she said, “it’s a big hubbub for a day or two and then life just moves on.” But, three years later, she can still remember the fights between Ms. Bryant and her daughters.

“The girls ran out of the house terrified, and were hanging out in the backyard screaming while the mom was yelling at them,” Ms. Douglass said, recalling that she was worried about their safety. “I never want kids to be afraid. When kids are afraid, that is a problem.”

The family had been on the radar of Children Services for several years, amid repeated complaints that the two youngest children were absent from school. In February 2017, Ms. Bryant took Ma’Khia, Ja’Niah and two younger siblings to one of the agency’s offices and said “she was at her wits end” and could no longer handle them, according to a Children Services document outlining the case. The children, Ms. Bryant told the agency, had “no respect” for those around them.

The move to Hilltop had been difficult for her daughters, who missed their friends on the East Side, Ms. Bryant said. “They were kind of rebelling in the home,” she said. The police came, she said, when she was arguing with Ma’Khia and Ja’Niah over bedtimes, and their younger sister, Azariah, ran outside and yelled for help.

“The officers said, you have just lost control as a parent, meaning, you can tell them to go to bed, go upstairs right now, and they’re not going to go,” she said. The children told police officers that they had suffered physical abuse from their mother and an older half brother, according to the mother’s lawyer, Michelle Martin, though Ms. Bryant denied ever abusing them. A magistrate judge dismissed the abuse claims against Ms. Bryant in February 2019 but found that she had neglected the children, according to court documents.

Ms. Bryant said she was detained while Ma’Khia and her three younger siblings “went in the paddy wagon.”

Ms. Hammonds, their grandmother, took the four children into her two-bedroom apartment, sleeping on the couch so the children could have the beds. After about six months, she began receiving $1,200 a month in aid from the state to cover their care.

Service agencies offer far less support to family members who agree to take care of children in need: The per diem allowances paid to licensed foster parents are often 10 times greater than the public assistance paid to relatives. A grandparent can become licensed as a foster parent, but it can take as long as six months, said Anthony Capizzi, an Ohio family court judge who took part in a comprehensive review of the state’s family services in 2019.

Ms. Hammonds did not have that long to wait.

“I was worn out,” she recalled. “I was doing all the laundry, all the cooking, and I was working a part-time job at the time. And it was difficult because these children came from a lot of dysfunction.”

Then her landlord found out that the children had moved into the apartment and told her she would have to move. She scrambled, placing the older girls at a summer camp and the younger two siblings in temporary foster care. When the camp ended, she had few options.

In desperation, she called the children’s caseworker to ask if she could take them to a hotel with her for a few nights, but the caseworker said that was not allowed. He told her to drop the two older girls off at Franklin County Children Services, a hulking brick edifice in downtown Columbus.

She found it frustrating; she felt the children belonged with their family.

“They could’ve just given me what they give one foster parent, and then I could’ve gotten housing, taken care of the kids and done what I needed to do,” Ms. Hammonds said.

When they pulled up to the building, she said, Ma’Khia did not want to get out of the car.

“She didn’t want to leave me,” she said. “I think about that all the time.”

‘Where’s my sister?’

There was no chance at that point that the children would go back to their mother, who was still struggling to meet requirements for counseling and scheduled visits. Instead, the county placed all four children in foster care.

Ms. Hammonds slept wherever she could for several months — sometimes in hotel rooms, sometimes with friends, and many nights in her car — until she secured a home that could accommodate the children. In December 2019, Ms. Hammonds submitted a petition to the court for their return, but it was rejected.

Though the court’s reasoning is not known, the Children Services agency had reported to the court that Ms. Hammonds had failed to meet all of the children’s needs and had not made sure they attended all necessary counseling appointments, according to Ms. Martin, the mother’s lawyer, who said the conditions imposed were unreasonable.

The girls, meanwhile, were placed in group homes. Ja’Niah recalled that, not long after their grandmother dropped them off, she and Ma’Khia were told they had to go into separate rooms for physical examinations. When she emerged, her sister was no longer there.

“I said, ‘Where’s my sister?’” she said. “It was like, ‘We don’t know, we’ll check,’ but he never got back. So that’s when I realized we were being split up.”

After that, Ja’Niah said, the two sisters moved through half a dozen living situations. There was, she said, a foster home so strict that Ma’Khia was often not allowed to leave the house; a group home with dog feces on the floor; a foster mother who screamed at the top of her lungs, not realizing Ma’Khia was recording it all on her phone.

Even when the living situation was good, and a foster parent in Dayton mused about adopting Ma’Khia, her sister was not interested, Ja’Niah said. “She wanted to get back to me, to family. To Columbus,” she said.

At school, Ma’Khia kept her family issues to herself. Jessica Oakley, the teacher’s aide who worked with her at Canal Winchester High School, recalled her as “a hard worker, a sweet girl, very shy.” At the end of ninth grade, she made the school’s honor roll.

She was diligent about schoolwork, and continued to seek out Ms. Oakley’s assistance even when the school shut down because of the coronavirus, once spending eight hours with her teacher on a Google Hangout, going through all her homework.

“She was definitely my girl,” Ms. Oakley said.

She said it was rare for Ma’Khia to mention anything about her family — except for Ja’Niah.

“She was very protective of her sister,” she said. “She was like, ‘No one messes with my baby sister.’”

Micheale Cates, 54, one of the foster parents who briefly housed Ma’Khia during that period, was friends with Ms. Moore, who took her in later. She would not discuss the details of the case, but she said she had noticed a pattern: Children who had escaped from traumatic family situations often long to return to them.

“Home is more than just a location, it’s where you have a level of comfort,” she said.

“Ma’Khia really was a family person, she needed that,” she said. “But, see, sometimes it’s not the best for the children. These children get triggered. I know the whole idea — keep them together, keep them together — sometimes that’s the worst thing for these kids.”

The two girls ended up at Ms. Moore’s house on Legion Lane — not far from their grandmother’s house, and together for the first time since they left her care.

The suburban home is neat and well-tended, with bunches of artificial yellow flowers poking out of the turf beside the door. The two sisters would make TikTok videos, dance, go skating, or go to an amusement center called Scene75 that has rides and video games, Ms. Moore said. Ma’Khia, she said, was not troublesome.

“She’s a quiet girl. She doesn’t start fights anywhere. She wasn’t a troubled child,” she said. “She was fun. She loved her family. She loved her siblings. They were close.”

Still, Ms. Moore placed repeated calls to 911 in which she seemed to struggle to manage the children she had taken in.

Sometimes, she was calling to report that a teenager had “gone AWOL,” failing to return home by curfew. But late last year, Ms. Moore sounded deeply shaken as she asked the police to remove a 10-year-old boy — or, as she put it, “one of my irate foster youths” — from her home.

The boy could be heard in the background, alternately roaring and howling, as Ms. Moore told the police that he had been knocking ornaments off her Christmas tree. Three hours later, she made a repeat call for assistance, saying she did not feel safe driving the 10-year-old in for a psychiatric evaluation.

After a brief initial interview, Ms. Moore declined to answer questions about conditions inside the home in the period before the shooting.

Ms. Cates, who formerly cared for Ma’Khia, said Ms. Moore faced a problem common to many foster parents: The agency expected her to work full-time outside the home, a situation that forced her to leave foster children unsupervised.

“I believe she was a loving, caring foster parent,” she said. But, she added, “foster parenting is a full-time job.”

By this spring, Ja’Niah said, Ms. Moore’s home had become increasingly tense. In the weeks leading up to the shooting, she said, Ms. Moore had accused the girls of stealing the cards that carry cash benefits for food.

And she said Ms. Moore sometimes left them unsupervised, or with former foster children, women in their 20s who, she said, berated them and mocked Ma’Khia’s speech impediment.

After school on April 20, the two Bryant girls found themselves alone in the house with Tionna Bonner, 22, one of Ms. Moore’s former foster children and, Ja’Niah said, her special favorite.

Ms. Bonner, who had come to celebrate Ms. Moore’s birthday the previous day, was now scolding the girls, saying they were habitually disrespecting Ms. Moore.

“She’s like, ‘My mom told you all to clean up this house, it’s dirty,’” Ja’Niah said.

The dispute escalated quickly, but when Ja’Niah called Ms. Moore, who was at work, she said she was too busy to get involved, Ja’Niah said. So each of them called for backup: Ja’Niah called her grandmother, and Ms. Bonner called another young woman, Shai-Onta Craig-Watkins, 20, who had lived in the house as a foster child. Neither Ms. Bonner nor Ms. Craig-Watkins agreed to be interviewed for this article.

Ms. Hammonds rushed over and described standing on the stairway inside, trying to protect her granddaughters as the older women threatened to beat them up. Ms. Bonner had pulled out a knife, Ja’Niah and her grandmother said, and Ma’Khia had grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen. Ja’Niah went into her room and called 911. In the call, placed at 4:32 p.m., Ja’Niah asked for help as people shouted in the background.

Someone could be heard saying, “I’m not scared of no knife.”

“It’s 3171 Legion Lane,” Ja’Niah told the dispatcher. “We got Angie’s grown girls trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put her hands on our grandma. Get here now!”

Twelve minutes later, the police arrived.

In a brief lull, Ms. Craig-Watkins left the house and the sisters began to pack up their things, thinking the worst of the situation was over. As they rushed out of the house, their father was pulling in to come to their aid. But also arriving was Ms. Craig-Watkins, who had returned with two more people. The two groups crossed paths, and Ms. Craig-Watkins spit toward the family, Ja’Niah and Ms. Hammonds said.

“I feel like that really made Ma’Khia really mad when she spit,” Ja’Niah said. “That’s when everything just went left.”

A police officer stepped out of his car and walked toward the driveway just as Ma’Khia turned her attention to Ms. Craig-Watkins and could be heard on a video from a neighbor’s surveillance camera threatening to stab her.

As Ma’Khia charged, Ms. Craig-Watkins tumbled to the ground, and Ma’Khia’s father tried to kick her. Ma’Khia turned to Ms. Bonner and backed her up against a car.

Ma’Khia raised a knife, and Officer Nicholas Reardon, a white 23-year-old who was the first officer to approach the scene, shot four times at Ma’Khia, who slumped down.

As Ma’Khia’s body lay on the ground, police officers led Ja’Niah inside Ms. Moore’s house, along with her father’s young son.

Ja’Niah turned on the television to find some cartoons for her younger brother to watch. Instead, what flashed on the screen first was a news report: a jury in Minneapolis had found Mr. Chauvin guilty of murdering Mr. Floyd.

Before an officer took her phone, she sneaked into a bathroom and made one more call for help.

“I called my real mom — my biological mom — and I told her, I said, ‘I need you. They just shot Ma’Khia. Get here now,’” Ja’Niah recalled. “I needed her.”



_________________
Every woman who has ever been presented with a career/sex quid pro quo in the entertainment industry should come forward and simply say, “Me, too.” - jammer The New York Times 10/10/17
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