COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–NBC4 spoke one-on-one with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther about the shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant and a number of other topics.
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, with a knife, attempting to stab one person who lands on the ground, followed by a second person who was pushed against a vehicle. In some of the footage, it appears Reardon fired his weapon when Bryant was near the second person.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
“I’m just asking everybody in the community to show some grace, remember each other’s humanity, and to recognize the cumulative impact of death, upon death, upon death of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, and the impact that’s had in our community here in this city, and cities across the country,” said Ginther.
The mayor said Woods officially retires this week, but he will not leave his current position.
“He will remain as interim chief through a supplemental contract that we’re entering into until we have our new chief selected, in the next couple of months,” he said.
Ginther again stated the new chief will not be hired from within the police department.
“I’m only considering external candidates because I believe that we have to change the culture of the division of police and the best way to do that is to bring in someone that’s led transformational change, that’s helped to change cultures in other departments — in other places around the country, so I won’t be considering any internal candidates,” he said.
Social media posts point to the possibility of protests in the city this weekend. The mayor shared his message for those who want to make their voices heard.
“We welcome you,” said Ginther. “We believe that dissent is the greatest form of patriotism, and we want people to be engaged in demanding change and reform and holding us accountable for getting that done, but they have to do it peacefully.”