Ma’Khia Bryant’s military veteran neighbor has said his home security camera footage proves Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon had no choice but to shoot the black 16-year-old because more people could have been killed if he hadn’t acted.
Donavon Brinson told Fox News Thursday morning he believes Bryant could have fatally stabbed the young woman she was seen lunging at with a knife if the cop hadn’t opened fire in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon.
‘He could have either not fired and the young lady in pink could have been stabbed in the neck and brutally or fatally injured and then he could shot [Bryant] and we could have had two [young women] dead – or he could have responded in the way that he did and one young lady lost her life,’ he said.
His comments come as a second neighbor said he believes police bodycam footage shows Bryant was in ‘full attack mode’ and ‘needed to be stopped’ because a ‘young lady’s life was at stake’.
Reardon shot Bryant four times at around 4.45pm on Tuesday on the 3100 block of Legion Lane while responding to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing.
New footage has emerged from a security camera on the garage of Brinson’s home across the street from the foster home where Bryant was staying and where the incident unfolded out front.
It captured a new angle of the shooting, giving a glimpse into the moments leading up to the fatal incident.
Home security footage has captured a new angle of the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant as a neighbor said he believes more people could have been killed if the officer hadn’t shot the 16-year-old black girl dead in Columbus, Ohio
The 26-second video shows the moments leading up to Tuesday’s fatal incident as a girl – later identified as Bryant (pictured) – is seen walking down a driveway toward other people at the very same time that a police car pulls up outside the home
Neighbor Donavon Brinson (pictured) who handed the home security footage to police said, after viewing it, he believes more people could have died if the cop hadn’t shot Bryant. The incident ‘was violent and all just happened so fast’, he said
The 26-second video shows a girl – now known to be Bryant – walking down a driveway toward other people at the very same moment that a police car pulls up outside the home.
Bryant then appears to suddenly charge at another person in the driveway. What happened next was caught on police body camera footage released Wednesday.
Questions continue to mount over the shooting and the events leading up to it, as cops released a 911 call thought to have been made by the 16-year-old minutes before she died, in which she asks the dispatcher to send a police officer ‘now’ as some girls are ‘trying to stab us.’
Bryant’s family say she made the 911 call after a group of other girls were threatening violence, but Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods told reporters ‘we do not know yet’ if it is the teen’s voice on the call.
Columbus Police released three body camera videos in a press conference Wednesday as the cop who fired the four shots that killed the 16-year-old was identified.
Reardon had been on the force a little over a year, joining in December 2019 after serving in the Air National Guard as a military policeman.
In the bodycam footage, Bryant is seen holding a knife and charging at two other young women. She appeared to be lunging at the second woman with the knife when Reardon opened fire.
The killing of the black girl has sparked protests over police brutality and systematic racism, with Bryant’s family, lawmakers and public figures questioning the use of force and saying her death was avoidable.
The teen’s aunt Hazel Bryant said she was ‘defending herself’ from attack by the other women in the footage when she was shot while her mom’s cousin asked why the officer did not de-escalate the situation instead of opening fire.
Several lawmakers have also slammed her death at the hands of law enforcement, with Rashida Tlaib hitting out that people trying to justify the shooting and ‘strip away the fact that a child was killed.’
Bryant’s killing came just minutes before white former cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd and as another Columbus cop is charged with murder for the December killing of another black man Andre Hill.
Military veteran Brinson told Fox News he believes Reardon was put in a ‘bad spot’ when he arrived on the scene and had just ‘seconds’ to respond with his ‘best judgement’.
‘He only had seconds to respond from my point of view,’ he said.
New footage emerged from a security camera on the garage of Brinson’s home across the street from the foster home where Bryant was staying. Bryant is seen walking down the driveway toward other people at the same time that a police car pulls up outside the home
Bryant appears to stop and stand still in the driveway facing some other young women before appearing to suddenly charge at one of the women as Officer Reardon nears the scene
Neighbor Ira Graham III (on right), said he believes the police bodycam footage shows Bryant was in ‘full attack mode’ and ‘needed to be stopped’
Hundreds of Ohio State students staged a sit-in at the union building and called on the university to cut ties with the Columbus Police Department on Wednesday in the wake of the shooting
Demonstrators march through downtown Columbus on Wednesday night holding large signs reading ‘All power to the people’ in protest over Bryant’s death
Columbus cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, is an expert marksman in the Air National Guard where he also serves as a military policeman
The Columbus cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant is in the Air National Guard where he earned ‘expert marksman’ badge.
Reardon, a graduate of Bishop Watterson Catholic school in Columbus, was a member of the school’s wrestling team, Daily Beast reported. While he attended Air Force basic combat training, the school posted updates on his progress.
The school indicated that Reardon graduated from basic combat training in August 2017 before attending the military’s Security Forces Tech School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
The Security Forces Academy teaches a 65-day course where students learn the basic functions of serving as military police.
A photograph of Reardon in his uniform at the time indicated he completed training with a rank of Airman First Class.
His alma mater’s Twitter account said he earned the expert marksman badge for the M4A1 Carbine fully automatic assault rifle used by the military.
Daily Beast also revealed that Reardon seems to be the son of retired police Sergeant Edward Reardon.
The older Reardon worked with the Columbus Division of Police for 32 years and is also an Air Force veteran, according to the outlet. He served as the Columbus Police Academy’s basic training sergeant.
A Twitter account revealed in a post made in 2019 that Reardon’s father was honored by an announcer during an Ohio State University football game.
‘I am very proud of my friend Sgt. Ted Reardon who was recognized at today’s Ohio State Football game. I have served with him in the USAF 1984-1987 nd @ColumbusPolice 1993-to present,’ the account tweeted.
‘May God bless him and his family!’
The Columbus Police Department honored Edward Reardon when he retired last year in a tweet noting that he trained more than 700 recruits.
‘Officers across Central Ohio will remember him for his [love] of Hallmark movies & his get in your face training,’ the department tweeted.
The department noted in a Facebook post at the time that ‘one of his son’s [sic] is currently a Columbus Police recruit.’
The Columbus Dispatch noted that the younger Reardon joined the police department in December 2019.
‘Watching this unfortunately the whole scenario put [the officer] in a bad spot.’
The neighbor told the Columbus Dispatch he came to the conclusion that the cop had no choice but to shoot Bryant after he watched his home security footage of the altercation.
‘It was violent and all just happened so fast,’ he said.
The footage, which is from much further away than the bodycam footage released by police, shows a young woman dressed in pink and another dressed in dark clothing at the end of the driveway across the street next to a car.
A small group of people are also seen in the road and at least one person in dark clothing further up the driveway.
At this point, an individual in a light-colored top and dark pants is seen emerging from the home.
They appear to be lightly jogging at first before slowing to a walk as they come down the driveway.
This person is followed by Bryant who also walks down the driveway.
The young woman in pink and the person on the driveway are in front of them on the driveway.
Simultaneously, a police car is seen driving into view and pulling up by the side of the road.
An officer – now known to be Reardon – gets out of the vehicle and walks toward the group.
Bryant and the other person from the home appear to be standing still facing the other two people, while a few other people are stood around.
The woman in pink moves back toward the car in front of the driveway.
Bryant appears to suddenly charge at one of the women who then falls to the ground.
Reardon and the woman in pink rush toward the two women but Bryant moves away and then appears to push the woman in pink against the parked car.
It is not clear what led Bryant to charge at the girls at that point or what led to the altercation in the first place.
Brinson said he had witnessed the chaotic scene leading up to the shooting as he drove up to his driveway Tuesday afternoon.
He noticed a commotion going on outside the foster home across the street and initially thought ‘it was just a girl fight,’ he told the Dispatch.
Brinson said he wasn’t concerned by what he saw at the time.
‘They were calling each other the B-word, so I figured it was just a girl fight,’ Brinson said.
He said the situation seemed to have escalated when he took his dog out soon after.
Brinson said he went inside and was in the home with his wife Rachel when the police arrived and they heard four gunshots.
He recounted his wife hitting the floor while he looked out the window of his laundry room and saw Bryant lying on the ground dying.
It was only when he watched his home security footage, which has been handed over to police, that he said he thought more people might have died had the officer not taken action.
He said neither he nor his father, who lived in the property for 14 years before he moved in in December, had seen anything like that happen before.
The woman who ran the foster home has taken in many children over the years and he does not know of any violent incidents prior to this, he said.
Officer Nicholas Reardon is seen standing on the scene after shooting and killing Bryant. He has been on the force since December 2019
The Columbus cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant has been identified as a member of the Air National Guard. Nicholas Reardon reportedly received the ‘expert marksman’ badge while in training
She told the Dispatch she was at work when the incident happened and did not want to comment.
The deadly shooting has divided opinion in the neighborhood and further afield with neighbor Ira Graham III, who has lived in the area for 19 years, telling the Dispatch he believes the police bodycam footage shows Bryant was in ‘full attack mode.’
‘I believe in truth and facts. Video doesn’t lie. She was in full attack mode,’ he said.
Bryant ‘was literally aiming a knife at this young lady,’ Graham said of the female in pink.
‘She needed to be stopped at that point. That young lady’s life was at stake.’
But Bryant’s family have questioned why the officer did not try to de-escalate the situation and believe her death could have been avoided.
Don Bryant, a cousin of Bryant’s mother, told NBC: ‘I know there are de-escalation tactics that could have been used. You killed a teenage girl. That could have been avoided.
‘I’m seriously asking the Columbus Police Department: What’s going on? I’m a supporter of our police, but what’s going on here? What’s going on that we have to be so trigger-happy these days?
‘And here’s what I don’t want… is this whole Blue Lives versus Black Lives Matter issue. Listen here, there’s been a loss of life, bottom line, and you have a grieving mother who is just heartbroken.’
Columbus police on Wednesday released additional body camera video showing 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant lunging at another young woman with a knife before she is fatally shot by a police officer. One of the alleged victims is seen sitting on the ground as Bryant is shot
Officer Nicholas Reardon (blurred left) is seen holding his gun after shooting Bryant as people at the scene screamed at him
A second video from a responding officer showed people running off after the shooting
Bryant’ family released a statement Thursday saying they were ‘saddened by the tragic and unnecessary death of Ma’Khia’ as they paid tribute to her as a ‘good student, good person.’
‘Ma’Khia was a good student, a good person, and did not deserve what happened to her. We want to remind everyone Ma’Khia was only a 16 year old teenage girl. We are deeply disturbed by the disproportionate and unjustified use of force in this situation,’ the statement read.
‘And while we remain encouraged by public support and all of the prayers shared with us; at the end of the day, we know nothing will bring back our beloved Ma’Khia. We respectfully request justice for Ma’Khia Bryant.’
Another neighbor agreed with the family, telling the Dispatch she didn’t know why the cop who shot Bryant didn’t use a taser instead of firing four bullets at her.
Kayla Cobb said she left flowers at the scene ‘because she was a baby.’
Questions around the use of a firearm instead of a taser come as the family of Daunte Wright hold his funeral in Minneapolis Thursday.
The 20-year-old black man was shot dead by Police Officer Kimberly Potter on April 11 when she allegedly fired her gun instead of her taser.
Another local resident Tommy Taylor added to the Dispatch that Reardon ‘should have told her to put down the knife.’
Interim Columbus Chief of Police Michael Woods released bodycam footage from three officers on the scene Wednesday as well as two 911 calls made minutes before the shooting.
In one 911 call, a young woman is heard frantically asking the dispatcher to send police to the address because people are ‘trying to stab us.’
Bryant’s family have said it was the 16-year-od herself who made the call.
Shouting and a commotion can be heard in the background throughout the call as the dispatcher repeatedly asks ‘what’s going on’ and if the caller has seen any weapons.
The video also showed another officer arriving to the scene and preparing to render aid to Bryant who was sprawled out on the cement
As the officer tried to help Bryant, she is heard gasping for breath. The officer is seen trying to find the entry wounds of the bullets when the video ends
A third video shows the view from Reardon’s body camera. He’s seen arriving on the scene of the fight at 4.44pm on Tuesday, and encountering several people fighting outside (pictured)
A slowed-down version of the video from the body camera of the officer who shot Bryant shows the teen holding a knife in her right hand and raising it toward a woman in a neon track suit. Moments later, four gunshots ring out
The caller begins by giving the address before she stops speaking and inaudible shouting is heard in the background.
‘What’s going on?’ asks the dispatcher.
The woman appears to say ‘come up here’ but the audio is not clear.
‘We got girls out here [inaudible]… trying to fight us and trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on our grandma… [inaudible],’ she says.
‘Can you see any weapons?’ the dispatcher asks, repeating: ‘Ma’am do you see any weapons?’
The caller does not respond.
‘We need a police officer over here now. We need a crisis officer over here now,’ she says, before the line goes dead.
The call was made at 4: 32 pm – around 15 minutes before Bryant was shot at 4: 45 pm.
Another call was made by a different woman minutes later but the caller says the police are already arriving and hangs up.
Bryant’s family told WBNS-TV that Bryant was the one who called the police for help, saying people were fighting outside her house.
The victim of the police shooting was identified by her mother as Ma’Khia Bryant on Facebook
Speaking to 10TV through tears, Paula Bryant said her daughter had called the police for protection and did not expect to be shot dead.
‘This never should have happened,’ she said. ‘She’s a loving girl.’
When asked Wednesday if the first 911 call was made by Bryant, Police Chief Woods said ‘we do not know that’ and that investigators are ‘interviewing all the witnesses to determine who made those phone calls.’
He said no other 911 calls were made over the incident besides the two released Wednesday.
Police released three body camera recordings of the incident.
In one of the horrifying videos, a girl who Bryant allegedly tried to stab is seen getting off the ground as gun shots go off.
‘I didn’t do anything! She was trying to stab me!’ the girl is heard screaming as other officers walked over to Bryant.
A second video from a responding officer showed him preparing to render aid to Bryant who was sprawled out on the cement.
As the officer tried to help Bryant, she is heard gasping for breath.
The officer is seen trying to find the entry wounds of the bullets as Bryant lies on the ground in a pool of blood.
A third video shows the view from Reardon’s body camera. He’s seen arriving on the scene of the fight at 4.44pm on Tuesday, and encountering several people fighting outside.
One of them, Bryant, is seen in the video swinging a knife at a young woman in shorts, who falls to the ground.
Questions continue to mount over the shooting and the events leading up to it, as cops released a 911 call Wednesday thought to have been made by the 16-year-old minutes before she died, in which she asks the dispatcher to send a police officer ‘now’
The teen’s aunt Hazel Bryant said she was ‘defending herself’ from attack by the other women in the footage when she was shot. Pictured Bryant
A slowed-down version of the video shows Bryant then turning her attention toward another woman in a neon tracksuit and pinning her against a parked car.
Officer Reardon pulls out his gun and repeatedly shouts: ‘Get down! Get down!’
As Bryant raises her right hand clutching the knife and directs it at the woman in the tracksuit, who cowers to defend herself from the blow, Reardon fires four shots and Bryant collapses to the ground.
‘You shot my baby!’ a man cries out.
Faced with growing outrage from witnesses, Reardon says: ‘She had a knife. She just went at her.’
The man who called Bryant his ‘baby’ screams at the cop: ‘She’s a fking kid, man. Are you stupid?’
The police footage revealed a knife on the ground next to Bryant.
Bryant was rushed to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where she died from her injuries around 5: 21pm.
‘We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,’ Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told reporters during Wednesday’s press conference.
Police initially released portions of Reardon’s body camera video within hours of the shooting in an attempt to ease tensions as Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the scene.
Authorities said they responded to a stabbing call at around 4.30pm. The shots fired call was made just 15 minutes later.
A Black Lives Matter activist holds a sign against passivity in reaction to the police shooting of MaKhia Bryant on Wednesday
The protesters marched behind signs which read ‘the whole damn system is guilty as hell’ on the streets of Columbus
The demonstrators were seen protesting down a street in Columbus holding signs that read ‘ Black Lives Matter ‘ and ‘Power to the People’
More than 100 protesters took to the streets of Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday night to demonstrate against the police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant
A witness said Bryant got into an altercation with another resident of the home and was armed with the knife to defend herself when police arrived.
The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd.
More than 100 protesters took to the streets of Columbus, Ohio, for another night Wednesday to demonstrate against Bryant’s death.
Protesters chanted ‘Say her name. Ma’Khia Bryant’ and held up signs reading ‘Black Lives Matter‘ and ‘Power to the People’ as they marched through the street in Columbus.
Protests and a vigil also occurred earlier on Wednesday with groups gathering to march and pray for the Bryant family.
Hundreds of Ohio State students also staged a sit-in at the union building and called on the university to cut ties with the Columbus Police Department in the wake of the shooting.
Many politicians and public figures have also condemned her shooting, which marks the latest in a long line of police killings of black people across America.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident and said that Bryant’s death shows police violence ‘disproportionately impacts black and Latino people’
‘The killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by the Columbus police is tragic,’ the White House press secretary said. ‘She was a child.’
‘We’re thinking of her friends and family in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss,’ Psaki continued.
Protesters marched on the streets with signs reading ‘say their names’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ as they joined hundreds in the demonstrations
Demonstrators take part in a protest in downtown Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday night
The students sat on the floor of the Ohio Union and held signs saying ‘stop killing us’ to protest against the latest shooting
Bryant’s shooting took place just months after another Columbus police officer shot dead Andre Hill in December
‘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,’ she added.
Psaki noted that Bryant’s death came at a time when ‘America was hopeful of a step forward after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin and the verdict that was reached,’ Psaki said.
‘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 in police departments around the country,’ the press secretary added.
Congresswoman Cori Bush slammed her killing saying she was a ’16-year-old baby’ as she called on police to ‘stop killing us.’
‘Ma’Khia Bryant was a 16-year-old baby. She was shot and killed by police yesterday,’ Bush tweeted Wednesday, adding that it was proof that Chauvin’s conviction has not brought justice to black people across the US.
‘This is why no single verdict can deliver justice. Convictions don’t save lives. Convictions don’t end violent policing. Stop killing us and our babies. Stop,’ she added.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted Thursday that it was ‘maddening’ that people were trying to justify the death of a child.
‘Ma’Khia’s TikTok videos show her childhood and joy,’ the Michigan Democrat wrote.
‘Her smile at the end of the videos just breaks me a little more. It’s been maddening to see so many people strip away the fact that a child was killed.’
She added: ‘We cannot be a society that justifies the killing of a child.’
NBA star Lebron James tweeted a post Wednesday picturing the officer and writing ‘You’re next. #ACCOUNTABILITY’ – in a reference to the ‘accountability’ of Chauvin who was convicted for Floyd’s murder that day.
In response to Bryant’s death, James tweeted: ‘You’re next. #ACCOUNTABILITY’
On Wednesday evening, James responded to the backlash in two separate tweets. ‘I’m so d*mn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate,’ he wrote
Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted Thursday that it was ‘maddening’ that people were trying to justify the death of a child
He later deleted the tweet because it was ‘being used to create more hate’, after he was accused of inciting violence against police.
In a tweet that evening, James responded to the backlash and explained why he actually deleted the tweet.
‘I’m so d*mn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY,’ he wrote.
In a separate tweet, he added: ‘ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!’
The police shooting of Bryant took place less than five miles from where the funeral for Andre Hill, who was killed by another Columbus police officer in December, was held earlier this year.
The officer in Hill’s case, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is now facing trial for murder, with the next hearing scheduled for April 28.
Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr in Columbus. The case remains under federal investigation.
Last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.