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Columbus Police Release More Video, Details in Shooting Death of 16-Year-Old Girl

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The Columbus Police Department released the recording less than six hours after Ma’Khia Bryant’s death at the hands of a police officer.

What We Know:

  • The bodycam footage reveals the officer who fired the deadly shots was Nicholas Reardon. It also reveals events that led up to the shooting. The video shows Reardon approaching a group standing in a driveway. When he arrives, he begins to ask about the situation. Bryant is also seen pushing and swinging at another person, who then falls to the ground. Reardon proceeded to pull his gun out and asked Bryant to get down. Bryant swung a knife at a girl on a car’s hood. Reardon then fatally shot her four times.

“Why’d you shoot her? You didn’t have to shoot her,” one bystander said.

  • Reardon went on to pick up the knife near Bryant’s body. He said, “She had a knife. She just went at her.” Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods reported people called a medic 90 seconds after the altercation. Columbus Fire medics were approved to enter the scene at 4:46 p.m. Medics transported a critical Bryant to a nearby hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead at 5:21 p.m. The department placed Reardon on leave after the shooting. “It’s a tragedy. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a 16-year-old girl,” declared Woods.
  • Furthermore, the police released two 911 calls about the disturbance. But, it was unclear if Bryant was the caller. In one audio, callers were screaming that a girl was trying to stab the individual. The call quickly disconnected. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is currently handling the case. After reviewing the details, they will send the findings to a prosecutor. This may be the attorney general’s office or the Franklin County prosecutor. Doing so will prepare attorneys for consideration before a grand jury.
  • Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. mentioned the video raises questions. Further, he believes it requires viewers to pause, analyze the sequence of events, and wait for the facts determined by an independent investigation.

Pettus questioned, “We have to ask ourselves: What information did the officer have? What did he see? How much time did he have to assess the situation? And what would have happened had he taken no action at all?”

  • NBC wrote it was unknown if Reardon provided any warning or instructions before Bryant’s shooting. Woods clarified the policeman would not have been required to give any precautions. Additionally, Woods said the department’s policy permits officers to shoot if they feel someone’s life is in danger. NPR’s Frank Morris says “part of the official narrative” was that Reardon was trying to protect the others in the fight. However, Hazel Bryant, Ma’Khia’s aunt, disputes this. Hazel believes Ma’Khia was acting in self-defense. Hazel declared  “grown, adult women” fought her niece.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther asked the public for patience while officials investigate. Regardless, citizens quickly demanded justice. Shortly after the shooting, protesters with Black Lives Matter signs, megaphones, and a loudspeaker gathered behind the crime scene tape, about a half-block from the shooting scene. 50 people had rallied by 8:30 p.m., including Kiara Yakita, founder of the Black Liberation Movement Central Ohio. She asked why police would “kill this baby.” Another activist, K.C. Taynor, referenced the Derek Chauvin verdict that occurred the same day. Through a megaphone, she proclaimed Black people could not celebrate anything because “you can’t be Black.”
  • In light of Ma’Khia’s death, Ginther said it needs to become a reflection of larger issues in the town. He urged the city and community to join together to ensure children never feel the need to resort to violence as “a means of solving disputes or in order to protect themselves.”

Since January 2020, eight Columbus residents have died in police shootings. This includes Andre Hill, who police murdered after mistaking his phone for a gun. Ma’Khia’s death is an extra push to end police brutality. While America celebrates George Floyd’s justice, it must be repeated for Ma’Khia.

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Headlines

Diego Maradona’s Doctor and Six Others to be Questioned in His Death

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Soccer icon Diego Maradona suffered a heart attack weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot and died in November 2020 at 60 years old. After this, two of his children filed a complaint with the Argentine Justice Department against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, citing that he allowed their father’s health to deteriorate. Medical experts agreed with their claims.

What We Know:

  • Argentina’s public prosecutor brought in a panel of twenty medical authorities to analyze Maradona’s treatment. They concluded that the care the legend received held “deficiencies and irregularities;” they also determined the medical team left his survival “to fate” and could have survived if tended to at a healthcare facility. Maradona died in a rented Buenos Aires home, where he obtained home care.
  • Alongside Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini will face interrogation.
  • Beginning Monday and spanning two weeks, the seven will appear “one by one” before prosecutors to reply to the allegations. They may receive charges such as manslaughter if found guilty.
  • The hearings were supposed to begin last month, but officials needed to postpone them due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Prosecutors will end questioning on June 28 with Luque. Once this finishes, a judge will decide if the matter should proceed in court. This process may take months or years. While awaiting their fate, the seven must follow strict rules, such as not leaving the country. They risk eight to twenty-five years in prison if they do so.
  • Luque actively denies all the accusations against him. He claims he “tried his best” and offered Maradona everything he could. He also states that the soccer player accepted some things and denied others.

In addition, Luque says that Maradona felt very depressed in his final days; he declares that the “quarantine hit him very hard.” Because of this, Dr. Luque wants dismissal of the case. Despite his pleas, the courts will continue their movement to bring justice to Maradona’s family and fans.

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Headlines

Senate Announces Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Deal

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(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 10 Senators have been engaged in negotiations with President Biden to create an infrastructure bill. After negotiations ceased this Tuesday, the group announced they have a tentative plan to propose in the coming weeks.

What We Know:

  • The plan includes $579 billion in new spending, which would add up to $1.2 trillion over eight years. Senators said in a statement that the proposal would be paid for and would not include tax increases. There have been talks amongst the group of indexing the gas tax to inflation to cover the cost, but Biden’s unwillingness to raise taxes for those who make less than $400,000 a year would prove difficult.
  • Republicans are skeptical of this deal and Democrats are impatient. Many are hopeful that a bipartisan agreement will pass. In a joint statement, the group said, “We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs.”
  • Some Democrats are vehemently opposed to the deal as it makes no mention of clean energy or climate change. They are encouraging leadership to push through a partisan bill, which still would require ten votes on the Republican side to pass.
  • Regardless of opinion, many agree that a bill needs to pass swiftly. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is among these representatives, “I worry about time being wasted. Even if our Republican colleagues [work in] good faith, we simply do not have the time to delay.”

The uncertainty in this decision follows a few weeks of tumult in the Senate between Democrats and Republicans. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “Senior White House staff and the Jobs Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the days ahead to get answers to those questions, as we also consult with other members in both the House and the Senate on the path forward.”

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Crime

Man Arrested After Shooting At Gilroy Cops During Pursuit

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A 36-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after he led Gilroy police officers on a high-speed pursuit.

What We Know:

  • The chase occurred around 9 p.m after police attempted to stop a man named Joshua Munoz. According to authorities, Munoz had warrants out for his arrest and was wanted for outstanding felony and misdemeanor charges.
  • Munoz was charged with possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, child endangerment, brandishing a weapon, burglary, and violating probation. Munoz was pursued by officers onto Highway 101 where he allegedly opened fire. Reportedly, he held a pistol out of the driver’s side window and fired a round at officers. Nobody was injured during the incident.
  • The pursuit reached Monterey County and then the California Highway Patrol took over the chase. Munoz eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed. Afterward, Munoz attempted to flee, but officers managed to capture him.
  • Police recovered a handgun and rifle on the scene. Munoz was later booked into Santa Clara County jail. In addition to previous warrants, Munoz has also been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, felony evasion, felon in possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest.

Police are still investigating and are asking anyone with additional information to contact detectives at 408-046-0335 or the anonymous tip line at 408-846-0330.

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