On April 20, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by Ohio, Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon. The shooting has led to protests in Ohio and sparked nationwide outrage. The teen’s funeral procession -- held in the city of Columbus -- has prompted more calls for change to policing.
On Friday (April 30), funeral services were held for the Black teen at the First Church of God in Columbus. She was a high school honor roll student and a “sweet child,” according to Paula Bryant, Ma’Khia’s aunt.
Bryant was fatally shot outside of the foster home she lived in, after Reardon responded to a 911 dispatch call. Officers were dispatched after receiving a call of an attempted stabbing in the 3100 block of Legion Lane. Paula Bryant said Ma’Khia called police because girls were outside of the house fighting. Body camera footage shows Reardon approaching the driveway where the fight took place, before yelling “Get down.” Four shots were fired at Bryant.
Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was in attendance at the funeral and received a standing ovation.
During services, which lasted more than 90 minutes, Bishop Clarke passionately delivered a eulogy toward the end.
“We’ll bring Ma’Khia back when police training changes,” Clark said. “We’ll get Ma’Khia back when we value one another and when we respect one another. We’ll get Ma’Khia back when we learn to work together. Ma’Khia is worth grieving. She is worth missing. She is worth crying over. She is worth it.”
Also in attendance for the funeral was the late Breonna Taylor’s mother, who lost her life due to a wrongfully-done Louisville police raid in 2020, Columbus City Council member Priscilla Tyson and by request of the church, Columbus police.
The need for change was evident throughout the service and avoiding this type of proceedings to reoccur.
“We don’t need to lose any more of our babies,” minister Susan Smith of Columbus said. “Not another baby in this city, not another baby in our community.”
The family’s attorney will launch his own investigation for the teen’s death, stating “[city] bureaucracy ill-equipped to protect.”