Kehlani is calling for reform in response to the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl killed by police Tuesday in Columbus, just before a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
“ABOLISH THE (expletive) POLICE. the same day we ‘celebrate’ a verdict for another loss that shoul’ve (sic) never happened, a Black child is murdered. ABOLISHMENT IS THE ONLY ANSWER,” Kehlani wrote.
The singer continued, adding that Bryant was “calling the police for help.”
“what is ‘justice.’ what does that verdict mean. what does it stop?”
Body cam footage shows an officer getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone called 911 saying they were being physically threatened. The officer takes a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when the girl starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down.
More celebrities reacted to the shooting, with George Takei calling to “end police terror.”
“We cannot even have a moment of justice before another Black life is taken by the police, this time a teen named Ma’khia Bryant in Columbs, Ohio who called them for help. Instead, they shot her four times,” he wrote.
We cannot have even a moment of justice before another Black life is taken by the police, this time a teen named Ma’khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio who had called them for help.
Instead, they shot her four times. We must end police terror.#BlackLivesMatter
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 21, 2021
Alyssa Milano added that “it’s not a few bad apples. It’s the entire tree. From the roots all the way up to the branches that touch the sky. It’s rotten. We must do better.”
Kathy Griffin expressed outrage on Twitter, noting Bryant’s young age.
“How in the hell does this police officer think it’s a good idea to fire shots blindly into a group of teenagers having a fight? Yes one of them has a knife,” Griffin said. “Oh, that never happened in your school or neighborhood? She didn’t deserve to die. 16 years old.”
WARNING. How in the hell does this police officer think it’s a good idea to fire shots blindly into a group of teenagers having a fight. Yes one of them has a knife. Oh, that never happened in your school or neighborhood? She didn’t deserve to die. 16 years old. #makhiabryant https://t.co/hnimSwnG7s
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 21, 2021
“My heart breaks for this angel’s mother. Ma’Khia Bryant…your name will be remembered. Let’s honor her tonight,” Reinhart tweeted.
In the body cam footage, the teenager appears to swing a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car, and the officer fires his weapon what sounds like four times, striking the girl.
A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”
The shooting, which happened about 20 minutes before a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, prompted hundreds to protest at the shooting site and outside Columbus police headquarters Tuesday night. Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods said the investigation still needs to be completed to determine if the actions of the officers were justified.
Contributing: The Columbus Dispatch; Farnoush Amiri, The Associated Press
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