Fact Checking Black Lives Matter’s Statement About Ma’Khia Bryant’s Death

A press release from the group makes claims that have not been proven and leaves out relevant facts about the event.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation released a statement on April 23 in response to the death of Ma’Khia Bryant. The website states: “Ma’Khia Bryant called the police for help. Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon showed up and shot this 16-year-old child point blank within a matter of seconds.”

Family members of Bryant have said she placed the call herself, but as USA Today noted, “Columbus officials have not yet clarified several details of the case, including whether Bryant made the 911 call.” Other news outlets have also reported that the identity of the caller has not been established, and Glenn McEntyre, the assistant director of the Columbus Department of Public Safety, told The Dispatch Fact Check that the department did not know who had placed the phone call. “The caller did not give a name,” said McEntyre. McEntyre noted that the investigation was being handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is housed in the Ohio Department of Justice. Press secretary for the Ohio attorney general’s office Steven Irwin said in an email to The Dispatch Fact Check: “I do not have any additional information to share regarding BCI’s investigation in this case, which remains active and ongoing.”

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s brief description of Bryant’s death also leaves out some important context: Police arrived on the scene where an altercation was already taking place. Body camera footage appears to show that Bryant pushed one person to the ground and was swinging a knife at another young woman when Reardon fired his weapon.

The investigation into this shooting is ongoing. But the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation leaves out relevant facts and context in its representation of events. 

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

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