Columbus shooting: Protesters call for abolition, defunding of police, reports say

Second night of demonstrations held after Ma’Khia Bryant’s death

Protesters gathered again in Columbus, Ohio, to demonstrate against the fatal officer-involved shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, chanting her name and calling for the defunding of the city’s police department, reports say. 

The 16-year-old appeared to attack two other females with a knife on Tuesday before police officer Nicholas Rearden discharged his firearm, fatally striking her, body camera footage shows. Rearden, who has been on the force since December 2019, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. 

The demonstrations began Wednesday afternoon on the campus of Ohio State University, where organizers told a crowd of more than 400 people that the protest was for the abolition of police, student newspaper The Lantern reported.  

Demonstrators gathered at the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters building and then marched through downtown on Wednesday evening, protesting the death of Ma'Khia Bryant.

Demonstrators gathered at the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters building and then marched through downtown on Wednesday evening, protesting the death of Ma'Khia Bryant. (Reuters)

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The crowd then went inside the Ohio Union student activity center and staged a 16-minute sit-in – symbolizing Bryant’s age – before marching toward the Ohio Statehouse, where they chanted her name and called for the defunding of the Columbus Police Department, the newspaper added. 

Other demonstrators at the statehouse chanted "Black Lives Matter" and "Say her name: Ma'Khia Bryant!," according to 10TV

Students gather at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University to protest the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant. (AP)

Students gather at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University to protest the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant. (AP)

A vigil reportedly was then held for Bryant around 7:30 p.m. before protesters further marched around the city, making their way past the Columbus Police headquarters and the Ohio Supreme Court. 

video taken of the demonstrators showed a line of cars honking their horns. 

Students march in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday. (AP)

Students march in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday. (AP)

At one point, FOX28 Columbus captured video of a car racing around in circles in the middle of an intersection with its tires screeching. 

There were no immediate reports of violence or unrest during Wednesday night’s demonstrations. The Columbus Police Department did not respond to a request for comment. 

Footage released from Rearden's body-worn camera shows that as soon as he pulls up, a young female with an apparent knife in her hand is forcing another female to the ground. She then turns and charges at another female nearby, while still holding the apparent knife, at which point Rearden fires multiple shots, fatally striking her.  

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Two other officers, whose body camera footage was also released Wednesday, performed CPR and other life-saving measures on Bryant after the shooting. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.  

A neighbor who spoke to Fox News on Wednesday said an argument preceded the shooting.

"I saw the beginning of the argument [between the girls]," Donovon Brinson said. "The girls were definitely getting really boisterous with each other and using belligerent terms. It's sad."  

Body camera footage shows a young girl attacking multiple people with what appeared to be a knife in Columbus, at which point a police officer fatally shot her. 

Body camera footage shows a young girl attacking multiple people with what appeared to be a knife in Columbus, at which point a police officer fatally shot her.  (Columbus Police Department)

In a video that Brinson's garage door camera captured of the events, as many as seven people were seen outside the home where Bryant was shot when police arrived, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

"It was violent and all just happened so fast," Brinson said in a separate interview with the newspaper.

Another resident in the neighborhood, Tommy Taylor, told the Columbus Dispatch she was wondering why police didn't use a Taser.

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"He should have told her to put down the knife," Taylor said. 

In bodycam footage, police are heard repeatedly saying, "Get down! Get down!" before shots were fired.

Fox News’ Paul Best and Emmett Jones contributed to this report.