POLICE did not tell 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant to drop the knife she was holding before shooting her four times, a witness claims.
It appeared to be confirmed by bodycam video that shows officers opening fire within seconds of arriving to a street scuffle in Ohio.
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In the footage an officer can be heard shouting "Get down, get down!" before four rapid gunshots.
No order for anyone to drop a weapon is heard as a three young women are seen brawling on the street.
Just before she is shot, Ma'Khia can be seen apparently swinging a knife at another girl who is sprawled on the hood of a car.
The graphic video then shows Ma'Khia slumped against the car fatally wounded in Columbus.
Her death emerged hours after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, which was hailed as a reckoning for police violence against black Americans.
Last night a neighbor identified as Tay Jones said on Facebook she had witnessed the shooting and posted a video purportedly from the scene.
She said the teen had the knife “because somebody tried to jump her.”
The white police officer who shot her never told her to put down the knife, according to Jones.
It comes as:
- Celebrations erupted across the US after killer cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis.
- Joe Biden told Floyd's family "thank God you have justice"
- A cop who shot Daunte Wright was bombarded with threats and told 'you're next b***h'
- Candace Owens told said the Chauvin verdict was 'mob justice'
Ma'khia was shot around 25 minutes before the long-awaited verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd.
News of her death tempered celebrations across the country as Joe Biden called the Floyd family and told them: "Thank God you have justice."
Columbus police said they were called at 4.32pm by a person who said someone was trying to stab them.
Officers arrived 12 minutes later and found Ma'khia engaged in a scuffle with two other young women.
After shooting her, more than half a minute passed before an officer knelt down to check on her and give first aid, the bodycam footage shows.
She was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead soon after.
Her aunt Hazel Bryant said it was Ma'khia who called cops because she was being abused by someone at the foster home where she lived.
She told The Columbus Dispatch her niece got into a fight with the other girl, and dropped the knife before she was shot.
"She didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street," Hazel told reporters.
Mom Paula Bryant described her daughter as a "sweet child" who was on the honor roll at school.
"She was a very loving, peaceful little girl," she told WBNS.
She added: "Ma'Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace.
"That's something that I want to always be remembered."
News of the shootings of a black teenager first spread on social media.
A video shared online showed a girl on the ground as white police officers stood over her.
With unprecedented speed, police released the bodycam video within hours of the shooting.
"It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," said Mayor Andrew Ginther.
"We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time, (was critical)".
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
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