The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, in Columbus, Ohio has sparked protests regardless of the police releasing a videotape that seemed to reveal Bryant moving into stab another woman. The episode has similar legal problems into the shooting of Adam Toledo in Chicago. The parents of Bryant insist she dropped the knife just before being shot, exactly the identical situation raised in the Toledo shooting. The videotape does seem to fulfill the standard for its use of deadly force under Tennessee v. Garner along with other law.
Police told local press that, at 4:32 p.m., officers had been dispatched to the speech after a caller reported a female has been attempting to stab other individuals. The videotape shows Bryant moving toward another female with the knife before being shot by the officer.
Here is video using the body cam footage about 6:35.
The knife should revealed laying next to Bryant.
The site Heavy reports that Franklin County Children Services affirmed that Bryant had been a foster kid. Her aunt, Hazel Bryant, told The Dispatch that her niece”got into an altercation with someone else at the house” but Bryant dropped her knife before being shot by a Columbus police officer.
On its face, the videotape would offer strong support for a justified shooting case.
The Columbus Police manual says”Sworn personnel may use lethal force if the involved personnel have reason to believe the answer is reasonable to shield themselves or others contrary to the imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.” That language is based from Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), once the court addressed the Fourth Amendment protections afforded a fleeing suspect and held that an officer may not use lethal force to prevent escape unless”the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”
Tennessee v. Garner addressed a fleeing unarmed suspects and found that the state statute too broad:
Using deadly force to stop the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. Where the suspect poses no immediate danger to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him doesn’t justify the use of lethal force to achieve that. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.
In Graham v. Connor, the court held that the question of if an officer used excessive force”requires careful attention to the details and circumstances of each specific case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses a direct danger to the protection of the officers or other, and if he’s actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” However, the Court ruled unanimously that the”reasonableness of a specific use of force should be judged from the point of view of a reasonable officer in the scene, and its own calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are frequently forced to make split-second decisions about the quantity of force required in a specific situation.” (The ABA shared these and other instances in a recent article ).
In this case, Bryant had been in close proximity and moving toward another man with this knife. This was an immediate threat of deadly force created against another person and the officer could claim there was little space or time for”de-escalation” efforts. The shooting is likely to be found to be justified under the governing standards for the use of deadly force.
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