COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he is not ready to say if a Columbus police officer was justified or not in shooting and killing 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.
Yost oversees the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is investigating Bryant’s death.
“The bottom line is these are complicated investigations,” Yost said.
According to Columbus Division of Police Interim Chief Michael Woods, Bryant was shot and killed by Officer Nicholas Reardon on Tuesday.
Police have released the body camera footage from three officers. Woods said some of the footage shows Bryant attempting to stab one person who lands on the ground and is followed by a second person who was pushed against a vehicle. In the footage, it appears Reardon fired his weapon when Bryant was near the second person.
Yost said he has seen the body camera footage that has been made public.
“Each piece of video tells a different piece of the story, and I’m not going to prejudge the story until it’s done,” Yost explained.
The attorney general said cases like this generally average about 400 hours of investigative time.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” he said. “We’ve got a 16-year-old girl who had her entire life in front of her, by all accounts had lots going for her after she had overcome a lot of very difficult circumstances — was doing well. It’s a tragedy that she is not with us anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the police acted wrongly. The investigation will determine whether it was right or wrong, and there will be accountability. Officer [Adam] Coy is indicted and standing trial for his actions in December. The process needs to work. We need to have accountability. I promise an independent and fair and transparent investigation.”