Media outlets and public figures immediately reported Tuesday afternoon that police had killed an unarmed 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio. As it turns out, they were wrong.
Police did shoot and kill 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, but she was armed. Body camera footage from the incident showed Bryant pushing one woman down on the sidewalk before swinging a knife at a different woman. Police shot the teenager multiple times after repeatedly telling her to “get down.”
Instead of waiting for the facts, people claimed that Bryant was unarmed. Many of the posts saying that the teenager was unarmed were still up as of Wednesday afternoon, even after body camera footage clearly showed that she had a knife. The tweets had been shared thousands of times.
“There has been yet another police shooting of an unarmed 16 year old Black teen girl by police in #ColumbusOhio,” CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin wrote Tuesday night on Twitter.