At funeral of black teenager shot dead by Ohio police, praise, calls for unity By Reuters


© Reuters. Funeral of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus


By Gaelen Morse

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) – The funeral for a black teenager gunned down by police as she brandished a knife during a melee in Columbus, Ohio last week drew praise from family, friends and elected officials , calls for unity and calls for a police overhaul.

In her final moments, captured in widely viewed police videos, Ma’Khia Bryant could be seen pouncing at two people with a knife as officers came to a chaotic scene in which several people were fighting in front of her family. reception.

But at the First Church of God, Bryant, 16, was remembered as a loving family member and a good student with a bright future.

“She loved sharing her opinions,” her cousin, Don Bryant, said from a pulpit over his coffin. “But where Ma’Khia is far more advanced than any of us in the family is because of her kindness.

Bryant’s fatal shooting took place on April 20 when a Minneapolis jury convicted a former white cop for the murder of George Floyd last year that sparked nationwide protests against racism in police.

At his funeral, speakers described his death as a unifying opportunity and a call to avoid similar tragedies.

“Today I pray for this community and for black people to come together and stand with whites, browns and yellows on behalf of Ma’Khia Bryant,” said U.S. representative Joyce Beatty, whose district includes Columbus and who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.

The incident, the third high-profile police shootout on a black person since December, is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, who attended the service, said Thursday he had asked the US Department of Justice to review the practices of the city’s police department.

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