An Ohio lawyer representing the family of Ma’Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old fatally shot by a Columbus police officer, will conduct her own “full, independent investigation” into the chaotic encounter involving a knife. “All systems failed her,” Michelle Martin said during a Wednesday press conference alongside Bryant’s family. She said the teenager, who was in foster care, died on April 20 as a result of “a bureaucracy ill-equipped to protect” children “in their time of greatest uncertainty and need.”
Body-cam footage of the incident shows Officer Nicholas Reardon, a former U.S. Air National Guardsman, arrive at the scene where Bryant and several others are standing in a driveway. Bryant can be seen holding a knife as she rushes towards another girl. “Get down! Get down!” Reardon is heard yelling—before he fires four shots at Bryant as she appears to be swinging the knife. Bryant is then seen on the ground while a man can be heard yelling, “She’s just a fucking kid, man!” “My baby was an innocent talented lovely teenager... she had a full life ahead of her,” Paula Bryant, the teenager’s mother, said Wednesday through tears.