Sunday, April 21, 2024
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Home » Black Woman’s Family Urges Officer’s Arrest After Video Shows Him Killing Her

Black Woman’s Family Urges Officer’s Arrest After Video Shows Him Killing Her

by Cody Doyle
0 comment 64 views


COLUMBUS, OHIO — Ohio authorities on Friday released bodycam video showing a police officer fatally shooting Ta’Kiya Young in her car in what her family denounced as a “gross misuse of power and authority” against the pregnant Black mother.

Sean Walton, an attorney representing Young’s family, said the video clearly shows that the August 24 shooting of the 21-year-old woman was unjustified, and he called for the officer to be fired and charged immediately. Walton also criticized police for not releasing the video footage for more than a week after the shooting.

Walton said in an interview with The Associated Press that it was “heartbreaking” for her family “to see Ta’Kiya having her life taken away under such ridiculous circumstances.”

A spokesman for the police union said calls to charge the officer before an investigation was complete were premature. The officer is on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examines the shooting, which is standard practice. A second officer who was on the scene has returned to active duty. The officers’ names, races and ranks have not been released.

Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford called the shooting a tragedy.

“Ms. Young’s family is understandably very upset and grieving,” he said in a written statement released Friday morning. “While none of us can fully understand the depths of their pain, all of us can remember them in our prayers and give them the time and space to deal with this heartbreaking turn of events.”

Series of shootings

Young’s death follows a troubling series of fatal shootings of Black adults and children by Ohio police and numerous occurrences of police brutality against Black people across the nation in recent years, events that have prompted widespread protests and demands for police reform.

Young’s father, grandmother and other relatives watched the video before its public release and released a statement Friday through Walton.

“It is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority,” the statement said. While viewing the video, the family felt “a lot of anger, a lot of frustration,” Walton told The Associated Press.

“More than anything, there was … a sense of just devastation, to know that this power system, these police officers, could stop her and so quickly take her life for no justifiable reason.”

The video shows an officer at the driver’s side window telling Young she has been accused of theft and repeatedly demanding that she get out of the car. A second officer is standing in front of the car.

Young protests, and the first officer repeats his demand. Young then turns the steering wheel to her right and the car moves toward the officer standing in front of it, who fires his gun through the windshield. Young’s sedan then drifts into a grocery store’s brick wall.

Officers then break the driver’s-side window, which Belford said was to get Young out of the car and render medical aid, though footage of medical assistance was not provided.

No theft, attorney says

In his interview with the AP on Friday, Walton denied that Young had stolen anything from the grocery store. He said his firm found a witness who saw Young put down bottles of alcohol as she left the store.

“The bottles were left in the store,” he said. “So, when she’s in her car denying that, that’s accurate. She did not commit any theft, and so these officers were not even within their right to place her under arrest, let alone take her life.”

Brian Steel, executive vice president of the union representing Blendon Township police, said in a phone interview that the case will almost certainly be presented to a grand jury for a decision on whether to file charges against the officer, but he declined to say whether Young’s death was justified. “The fact is [the officer] had to make a split-second decision while in front of a moving vehicle,” he said.

Responding to criticism of the delay in releasing the video, Belford said it took time for his small staff to process it and properly redact certain footage, such as officers’ faces and badge numbers, in accordance with Ohio law.

He said the officers’ names could not be released at this point because they were being treated as assault victims. He said the officer at the side of the car had one arm partly in the driver’s-side window and the other officer was still standing in front of the car when Young moved the vehicle forward.

Ohio Families Unite for Political Action and Change, a grassroots organization focused on eradicating police brutality, said in a statement emailed to the AP that the video footage shows the officers’ conduct was “violent, defenseless and egregious.”

Young was expected to give birth to a daughter in November. Family and friends held a private vigil a day after Young was killed, releasing balloons and lighting candles spelling out “RIP Kiya.” An online effort to pay her funeral expenses has raised over $7,000.

Source : VOA News

You may also like

Soledad is the Best Newspaper and Magazine WordPress Theme with tons of options and demos ready to import. This theme is perfect for blogs and excellent for online stores, news, magazine or review sites. Buy Soledad now!

Frontier Chronicler, A Media Company – All Right Reserved.