COLUMBUS (WCMH) – There were several demonstrations throughout the city Wendnesday as member of the community voiced their feelings over the death of Ma’Khia Bryant.
Two of those events were an Ohio State University student-led protest and a vigil.
Two young Black women who live in the community said Bryant’s death hits them hard and it hurts, adding they know what it’s like to be a young Black woman in Columbus.
A 16-minute long moment of silence was held to remember the 16-year-old shot and killed by a Columbus Police officer Tuesday.
“It’s hard because I’m a Black girl myself and it’s just hard seeing, like, our people are dying for no reason,” said Katlyn Anderson, who attended the vigil. “It’s unjust. It’s not fair.”
The demonstration by OSU students marched from campus, through city streets and to the Ohio Statehouse.
Bryant’s death is being felt by many.
“No matter how you spin it, there’s absolutely no excuse for her killing,” said OSU senior Roaya Hijazi. “There’s absolutely no way for any of us to excuse it and we want Ohio State to stop legitimizing the Columbus Police Department.”
Hijazi said it was important for her and her fellow students to make a statement about this particular shooting, but others in the city as well.
“Our experiences are all interconnected,” Hijazi, who organized the protest, said. “What happens in southeast Columbus is not different from what happens in this campus or the areas surrounding it. We’re all impacted by the same violence and that’s what we’re here to speak on.”
Anderson said she’s becoming numb to the violence.
“I hope they see the pain that is in our community, and I hope that the government, the state, even the federal, start to really take a look at how our system is created and find ways to reconstruct it, find ways to deescalate situations, find ways to not use violence as their first choice,” she said.
As for what she wants to see next, Anderson said accountability.
“His badge taken away and put in jail for murdering a teenage girl,” she said. “It’s not right and he needs to face repercussions for what he did.”
While the two events were separate, many from the community joined students along their march from campus to the statehouse and, in turn, students joined community members at the vigil.
The shooting is under investigation by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and it could be a while before the results of that probe are released.