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Crime Younger sister remembers Ma'Khia Bryant: 'She wanted to grow up and be great'

12:50  09 may  2021
12:50  09 may  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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(CNN) Ma ' Khia Bryant was charging at two young women with a knife, police body camera video footage shows, when an officer arrived and fatally shot her outside the foster home she had been living in for about two months. Ma ' Khia 's foster mother Angela Moore, who wasn't home at the time, said the Black children made up 23% of the kids in foster care nationally but only 14% of the total child population in 2018, according to Kids Count. "The system is broken and we just as a country have not come to terms with that," said Grills. "They have a duty to protect and ensure a child's well- being and

Ma ' Khia Bryant : Ma ' Khia was helpful and kind, her friends and family say. Ma ’ Khia Bryant : What we know about the 16-year-old girl fatally shot by Columbus police. The video shows an officer approaching a driveway with a group of young people standing there. Bryant said her niece had a knife, but maintained that the girl dropped the knife before she was shot multiple times by a police officer. Protests develop at shooting scene. Protesters with Black Lives Matter signs, megaphones and a loudspeaker joined the crowd gathered behind crime scene tape about a half-block away from the

Ja'Niah Bryant lost her best friend on April 20 when her older sister was fatally shot by a police officer outside their foster home in Columbus, Ohio.

In an exclusive TV interview with ABC News' Eva Pilgrim for "Good Morning America," Ja'Niah described 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant as her "other half."

"We did everything together," Ja'Niah, 15, said.

The shooting of the Black teenage girl by a white police officer, which occurred about an hour before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, sparked protests in the neighborhood and left her family calling for a federal investigation. A little over a week after Ma'Khia's death, city leaders said they requested a Department of Justice investigation following a series of police killings of Black people in Columbus.

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Ma ’ Khia Bryant : Columbus police release bodycam footage of officer’s fatal shooting of teen. As the teen swings the apparent weapon toward the second girl, the officer fires several shots at the alleged suspect, striking her . Police have said they were called to the home at about 4:45 p.m. for a call of an attempted stabbing. After the gunfire, two adults remained outside. “ She ’s a f—ing kid, man,” one of them can be heard telling the officer.

Security footage has revealed a new angle on the shooting of Ma ’ Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, with many arguing it proves the officer who fired his weapon had no choice. Police bodycam footage released after the shooting also appeared to show Bryant attacking two people with a knife, but critics have still questioned the use of lethal force by the officer, who has been identified as Nicholas Rearden and is now under investigation. Neighbor Donovan Brinson released the new footage to police and has said he believes it proves Rearden had no choice but to shoot.

a person posing for the camera © Bryant Family

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is already reviewing the actions of the officer.

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Body camera footage from the incident showed Ma'Khia with a knife lunging toward a young woman before the officer yelled "Get down!" and shot her four times.

Ja'Niah told "GMA" she called 911 the day of the shooting. In a recording of the 911 call obtained by ABC News, she can be heard urging police to "get here now," over screaming in the background, because there were "grown girls over here trying to fight us, trying to stab us."

It was the second call for help Ja'Niah made in less than a month. On March 28, she told police officers who responded to the residence that she wanted to be placed in a different foster home after an argument with her sister, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

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Ma ' Khia was holding a knife in her right hand and charged a woman dressed in pink -- who turned to her side as the teen appeared to attempt to stab her . That's when the shots rang out. Officers attempted life saving measures "almost immediately," said interim Police Chief Michael Woods, who One officer attends to the shooting victim. Officers assessed the girl for injuries and summoned a medic, as is protocol, Woods said. " Ma ' Khia had a motherly nature about her . She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered ," Bryant , the girl's mother, told TV station WBNS.

Ma ' Khia 's aunt, Hazel Bryant , told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided. Getty. She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself. "The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."

Ja'Niah described the situation at the foster home as "complex."

"I wanted to leave. She wanted to leave, too. But my biggest fear was us being split up again," said Ja'Niah, who had previously been placed in separate foster care from her sister before they were reunited several months ago.

The foster home "did the best they could with what they had available," Bryant family attorney Michelle Martin told "GMA."

a person posing for the camera: Ja'Niah Bryant and Ma'Khia Bryant are seen in an undated family photo. © Bryant Family Ja'Niah Bryant and Ma'Khia Bryant are seen in an undated family photo.

According to Martin, things escalated on the day of the shooting when a young woman who used to live at the foster home asked the sisters to clean up after a party the night before.

As they were cleaning, Martin alleges the woman "escalated to threatening behavior, in an effort to, you know, quote-unquote discipline them and tell them what to do."

The sisters "felt unsafe and began to be attacked," she said. They called their grandmother and also their foster mother, Angela Moore, who was at work at the time -- and, eventually, 911, Martin said.

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The young man said that he and his teacher started talking about the 16-year-old’s death and that he took out his phone and started recording. Read More: LeBron James says he ‘fueled wrong conversation about Ma ’ Khia Bryant ’ with tweet. The conversation reportedly “took a turn” and the teacher “You can hear from the beginning she was so upset, she was just very angry and because he disagreed or didn’t get a chance to really say what he wanted to say and she threw something at him,” Peters said. “I hold her at a higher standard, she is a teacher and if this conversation was too

"When we think about Ma ' Khia or other black girls like her … they're not given the chance to be in situations that could be de-escalated." Marline Francois-Madden, author of The State of Black Girls, told the newspaper that Mayor Ginther's characterisation of Ma ' Khia as a " young woman" made the incident sound like a dispute between adults. It came as social media users widely shared videos posted by Ma ' Khia on TikTok, as an alternative to the graphic viral footage of her final moments. According to Newsweek, video from Ma ' Khia 's TikTok channel, where she mainly posted hair tutorials

MORE: Ma'Khia Bryant's family gathers for her funeral in Ohio

Ja'Niah believes Ma'Kiah was trying to protect them during the ensuing altercation.

"She was being a bigger sister," said Ja'Niah. "She was trying to protect herself."

Ja'Niah said she is now living with her grandmother, which was what she had hoped for her and her sister all along.

a group of people around each other: Ja'Niah Bryant releases butterflies into the air during funeral of her sister Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, April 30, 2021. © Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images Ja'Niah Bryant releases butterflies into the air during funeral of her sister Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, April 30, 2021.

Martin contends that the foster care system failed to protect the sisters and provide enough support to keep the family together or the siblings in a kinship placement.

"If your family needs assistance, we should have been able to support them as a community," Martin said. "I think that we're missing the bigger picture and that they were victims of our failing system."

"GMA" has reached out to Moore and Franklin County Children Services for comment.

Ja'Niah hopes people don't judge her sister from what they see of the body camera footage. She remembers her sister as a good person who loved her family, dance battles, singing, applying makeup and styling her hair. She wanted to grow up to be successful, Ja'Niah said, with a house, car and good job. An animal-lover, she wanted to be a veterinarian.

"She just wanted to be great," Ja'Niah said. "She wanted to grow up and be great."

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