Sourced from Revolver’s article, “Recent Shooting of Ohio Teen Could Be Final Blow For Media and BLM”
Few hours before the verdict was out in the Derek Chauvin and George Floyd case, a new campaign for the Black Lives Matter movement was already in the making. This time it involved the apparent killing of a black teenage girl by a police officer. Even before the facts were out, the media was already proclaiming murder. But before you drown in the overwhelming flashy news headlines, it is better to acquaint oneself with facts.
The teenager has been identified as a 16-year-old Ma'khia Bryant. According to NPR's report, she called the police around 4:30 pm local time when a group of 'older kids' threatened to attack her.
As soon as the incident took place, a video went viral showing the police officer brutally killing the teenager. But the whole occurrence is put into perspective in another slow-motion body cam video footage recently released by the Columbus Police department.
In the video, as the police arrive at the scene, they approach a group at a distance. Four people- 3 girls and a man, come running towards them. The man can be seen kicking a girl on the head. The teenage girl, Ma'khia, then quickly moves towards the other girl and wields a knife. As she is about to stab her, the officer pulls out a gun. After initial warnings to 'Get down,' he shoots her to save the life of a defenseless woman.
In a press conference reported by NBC, the Columbus Police Chief Micheal Woods said that the police officer was no longer on patrol duty. Justifying the act, he further remarked, "deadly force can be used to protect yourself or the protection of a third person, so that's within the policy and that is within the law."
The matter is now under investigation with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation responsible for gathering information about the incident.
What is striking, in this case, is the role that the media played. The media's portrayal of the incident speaks volumes of its compromised neutrality. Instead of stating or waiting for the facts to come out, it jumped to give it a racial color. Headlines such as 'Ohio police fatally shoot Black teenage girl just before Chauvin verdict' (Washington post) were doing rounds. Instead of inquiring into the reason for the shooting, the blame was squarely shifted onto the police, that they were randomly shooting black teenage girls.
Black lives matter slogans and banners were raised in support of the victim as a result. Does the life of the woman who was saved not matter? Is it ok to frame a police officer on duty into being a racial killer? Is it alright to jump to conclusions without knowing or mentioning the facts?
It is for you to decide.