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Psaki Calls Fatal Shooting of Ohio Teenager ‘Tragic'

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is weighing in on the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, that happened just before a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

On Wednesday, Psaki said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident.

She continued, “The killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by the Columbus police is tragic. She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family and the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss.”

“We know that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people in communities. And that Black women and girls, like Black men and boys, experience higher rates of police violence. We also know that there are particular vulnerabilities that children in foster care, like Ma’Khia face,” she added.

“And her death came, as you noted, just as America was hopeful of a step forward after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin and the verdict that was reached. So, our focus is on working to address systemic racism and implicit bias head-on and of course to passing laws and legislation that will put much-needed reforms into place at police departments around the country.”

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On Tuesday, a Columbus police officer shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she was lunging toward another girl with a knife in her hand.

The officer was heard on bodycam footage yelling, “Hey, hey, hey, hey. Get down!” before firing four shots which fatally struck Bryant.

 Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said police were dispatched after they received a call that “females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them.”

Addressing the shooting, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said, “We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home.”

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