Columbus police shot and killed a teenage girl who swung at two other people with a knife Tuesday, according to bodycam footage from the officer who fired the shots just minutes before the verdict in George Floyd’s killing was read.
Officials with the Columbus Division of Police showed a segment of the footage Tuesday night just hours after the shooting took place in a neighbourhood on the city’s east side.
The decision to swiftly release the video was a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings that have led to clashes.
The 10-second clip begins with the officer getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference.
The officer takes a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when the girl, who was Black, starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward.
The officer shouts several times to get down.
The shooting happened minutes before the verdict in the killing of George Floyd was announced.
Protesters who had gathered peacefully after that verdict to call for police reform and accountability quickly shifted their focus to the killing of the girl.
A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”
The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”
The race of the officer wasn’t clear.
The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. It remains unclear if anyone else was injured.
Police did not identify the girl or her age Tuesday.
One family member said she was 15, while another said she was 16.
The crowd of about 100 could be heard chanting outside police headquarters as city officials offered their condolences to the family and acknowledged the rarity of showing bodycam footage so soon after a police shooting.
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