New Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant gets emotional discussing death of Makenzi Ridley


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — New Police Chief Elaine Bryant became emotional on her first day on the job Friday while discussing the shooting death of 17-year-old Makenzi Ridley.

Ridley, a recent high school graduate bound for college, was shot at the Far East Community Center on Thursday night by an unknown suspect.

“Today is my first day on this job, and today is a grim reminder to me of what this job means and this badge means,” said Bryant, a former deputy chief in Detroit. “This hit me hard. Makenzi, this young lady, was doing what all young people should be doing, enjoying her summer.”

Bryant discussed the shooting at a news conference. She was joined by Mayor Andrew Ginther, Safety Director Ned Pettus and members of Ridley’s family, including her mother, stepfather and uncle.

Bryant and Ginther asked for anyone with information on the shooting to come forward. Bryant said over 100 children were at the center when shots were fired and Ridley was injured.

“We will not stop. We will do everything in our power to ensure we stop this violence,” said Bryant, who said she wants the city’s parks to be safe places.

Ridley’s death marked the city’s 96th homicide of 2021.

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