vigil for Ma'Khia Bryant
© Reuters / Gaelen Morse
People attend a vigil for Ma'Khia Bryant, who was shot and killed by a Columbus Police officer in Columbus, Ohio, April 21, 2021
The Black Lives Matter movement was savaged by conservatives for portraying the death of teenager Ma'Khia Bryant as "police senselessly taking another black child," while omitting crucial details of how the incident unfolded.

Bryant, 16, was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, last week. The officer arrived on the scene as Bryant was quarrelling with another teenager.

Bodycam footage shows the officer opening fire as Bryant lunges at the girl with a knife. "I'm going to stab the f**k out of you, b**ch!" Bryant screams, a split second before the officer shoots her down.

Ma'Khia Bryant knife bodycam footage
© City of Columbus
Still from bodycam footage of Ma'Khia Bryant attacking the unnamed woman in pink.
While many pundits and analysts have said the officer was justified in shooting Bryant, the Black Lives Matter Movement disagrees. The BLM official press release describes Bryant's killing as "senseless," and completely omits the fact that the teen was armed, and by her own account was about to stab the other 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," the statement, published on Friday, read.

"Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon showed up and shot this 16-year-old child point blank within a matter of seconds," the statement continued, declaring Bryant's to be "another Black life stolen with no regard."


BLM also claimed that Bryant herself had called the police, but it is still unknown who'd placed the call. 911 dispatchers received a call from someone warning that "females...were trying to stab" someone, police revealed at a press conference last week, but the identity of the caller has not been revealed. Claims that Bryant was unarmed, and that she'd approached Reardon to explain herself before being shot, have already been proven to be false.

As the facts surrounding Bryant's death continue to emerge, little attention has been paid to the teenage girl who was apparently moments away from being stabbed when Reardon intervened. Some BLM-supporting journalists and pundits have remained on Bryant's side, while conservative commenters have pushed the argument that Reardon's use of force was completely justified.

Several days after BLM put out the statement, these conservatives bashed the organization for its version of the story.

"If you're the girl in pink, the word 'senselessly' really has to sting," pundit Stu Burguire tweeted, while Republican Party consultant Caleb Hull called BLM "pathological liars trying to start a race war."


"Black Lives Matter does not give two damns about black life as long as the person ending the black life isn't a cop," conservative pundit Ben Shapiro tweeted.

BLM's take on the tragedy, however, has some public support. Protesters marched in Columbus on Sunday, chanting Bryant's name and demanding police accountability. Speaking at the rally, organizer Hana Abdur-Rahim told the crowd "I don't need a video to know she was a child and she deserved to live," the Columbus Dispatch reported.