The decade's most triggering comedy
On Friday, the Black Lives Matter movement released a statement following the death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who was shot and killed in Columbus, Ohio, by a police officer as she appeared to attempt to stab another teenage girl.
At the exact same time the verdict of Derek Chauvin was being read for murdering George Floyd, police wasted no time in senselessly taking another Black child.
Ma’Khia Bryant. We say her name.
Ma’Khia Bryant called the police for help.
Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon showed up and shot this 16-year-old child point blank within a matter of seconds.
Another Black life stolen with no regard.
Together, we’re going to uplift, center, and honor this Black child for what she loved — doing her hair, making TikToks, and being a teenager. Her account is currently deactivated, but we’ve compiled a few of her TikToks on social media so we can all remember her joy.
Ma’Khia Bryant’s life mattered.
The Black Lives Matter movement also provided a link to their Twitter account, where they posted a thread of TikTok videos seemingly posted by Ma’Khia Bryant.
“Ma’Khia Bryant. We say her name. Another Black life stolen. But we refuse to define or remember Ma’Khia by her final moments,” Black Lives Matter tweeted. “We uplift, celebrate & honor this Black child for what she loved- doing her hair, making Tik Toks, having fun. Just being a teen. Rest in power, Queen.”
Ma’Khia Bryant. We say her name.
Another Black life stolen. But we refuse to define or remember Ma’Khia by her final moments.
We uplift, celebrate & honor this Black child for what she loved- doing her hair, making Tik Toks, having fun. Just being a teen.
Rest in power, Queen.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) April 22, 2021
The narrative that Ma’Khia Bryant’s life was “stolen” echoes the message promulgated by Ben Crump, a lawyer who can frequently be found at the forefront of police shooting cases, who immediately rushed to declare that Bryant was “unarmed” when she was shot by police.
“As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting as [Columbus Police] killed an unarmed 15yo Black girl named Makiyah Bryant. Another child lost! Another hashtag,” Crump tweeted.
As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting as @ColumbusPolice killed an unarmed 15yo Black girl named Makiyah Bryant. Another child lost! Another hashtag. ✊🏾🙏🏾#JusticeForMakiyahBryant https://t.co/9ssR5gfqm5
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 21, 2021
Despite the claims of organizations like Black Lives Matter and figures like Ben Crump, according to video footage released soon after the incident, Ma’Khia Bryant was not unarmed. She appeared to be the perpetrator of violence, holding a knife and appearing to be in the process of attempting to stab another young black girl when the police officer acted.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 21, 2021
Still images from the video footage appear to show Ma’Khia Bryant holding a knife in an offensive stance, poised to strike the potential victim.
Body camera video released by Columbus Police in Ohio shows #MakiyahBryant attacking another female with a knife before she is shot by police. #BLM have been protesting, calling the shooting racist because Makiyah is black. pic.twitter.com/LY1HaJyI1F
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 21, 2021
Additional video footage emerged later in the week, showing Bryant screaming, “I’m going to stab the f*** out of you, b****,” as she lunged toward the girl before she was shot.
In new video, Makhia Bryant can be heard screaming “I’m gonna stab the fuck out of you, bitch,” while lunging at two unarmed people who were posing no imminent physical threat to her
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 22, 2021
The narrative that Bryant was unjustifiably shot was also pushed by NBA superstar LeBron James, who caused widespread outrage after he posted a photograph on social media of the police officer who allegedly shot and killed her, writing, “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.”