The incident, sparking street protests in Ohio's largest city, came as the nation was focused on the guilty verdict a Minneapolis jury returned against a white former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd a year ago by kneeling on his neck.
In the footage, an officer approaches a drive way as a number of young people stand by. "She had a knife", the officer who fired his weapon said in response to onlookers' yells. Bryant, who is holding a knife, is shot an unknown number of times after appearing to swing towards another girl.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said it was a "heartbreaking" tragic day in the City of Columbus. But they noted the footage they shared with the media had been edited and was incomplete.
Elsewhere, police in OH were called to a disturbance yesterday after a female contacted emergency services and told them another female was trying to stab her.
Police officers were dispatched four minutes after the call ended and they arrived at the home at 4:44 p.m. It was disorienting coming so close to the verdict in the Chauvin trial, he said.
Bryant was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Columbus police stressed that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the case, but the city wanted to release the body camera to give the public more information.
State law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference. The chief said he "would be taken off the street" pending an investigation.
However, despite the video and the heroic actions of the officer-who saved the victims from a violent attack with a knife-the family of Bryant seemed to be telling a different story. The 911 caller reported a female was trying to stab them before hanging up, they said. "In any way you look at this, it's a tragedy". "She was loving", Hazel Bryant, who said she was the victim's aunt, told Columbus ABC affiliate WSYX near the scene of the shooting.
Franklin County Children's Services confirmed the teenager as Ma'Khia Bryant and that she was in foster care, according to The Dispatch.
The Columbus Police Department could not say on Tuesday whether Bryant was the one to call for assistance before she was shot.
Protesters with Black Lives Matter signs, megaphones and a loudspeaker joined the crowd gathered behind crime scene tape about a half-block away from the shooting scene. About 50 people had gathered by 8:30 p.m.
"We don't get to celebrate nothing", K.C. Taynor said through a megaphone of the Chauvin verdict. ". In the end, you know what, you can't be Black". The shooting took place a short time later, according to police. "Why did they kill this baby?" she asked aloud.