The lawyer representing the family of Ta'Kiya Young, the pregnant Ohio mother fatally shot by police in a supermarket parking lot, said the officer violated department policy and called for “swift justice.”
The Columbus Dispatch reports that attorney Sean Walton and Young’s grandmother, Nadine Young, held a new conference Wednesday (Sep. 6) and identified the cop as Blendon Township Police Officer Connor Grubb, who they say fired his weapon through Ta’Kiya Young’s windshield. Police officials have so far declined to confirm the officer’s identity.
“She was murdered — her and her baby,” said Nadine Young, who raised 21-year-old Ta'Kiya Young.
Walton and Young said they don’t want investigators to drag their feet in this case.
"Anytime we have a citizen who's accused of murder, we have swift justice. We cannot have these continued delays (in police cases) that are justice denied," Walton stated.
Police body camera footage of the Aug. 24 shooting was released Friday (Sep. 1). A supermarket employee told the officers that Young was in a group of suspected shoplifters.
Around 6:20 p.m. two officers approached Young who was sitting in a Lexus sedan, allegedly without a license plate in an accessible parking spot at a Sunbury Plaza Kroger.
The footage shows one officer at Young’s driver’s side window ordering her to get out of the vehicle and Young refusing that command, saying that she didn’t shoplift.
The second officer pointed his gun toward the car. When the car moved forward, hitting the officer with the drawn weapon, he fired a single shot through the front windshield, striking her in the chest.
Young and her unborn daughter died.
Walton said the officer violated the department’s policy when he stepped into the path of the car and pulled out his gun.
"When feasible, officers should take reasonable steps to move out of the path of an approaching vehicle or any of its occupants,” reads a copy of the manual the police released with the body camera video. "An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are not other reasonable means available to avert the imminent threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others."
According to Walton, the officer had no basis to believe that Young had a weapon, underscoring that she was suspected of a nonviolent crime.
"It's a petty theft. There is no reasonable officer in this country who should pull their gun out for a petty theft in that scenario," Walton stated.
Meanwhile, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the probe into the shooting that could lead to a possible criminal indictment of the officer.
USA Today reports that Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford said, "Every loss of life is a tragedy ... The family of the woman who died is understandably upset. I’ve personally spoken with a member of the family, and I will continue to keep them informed about what’s happening,”
Young leaves behind two sons, 6 and 3 years old. Her unborn daughter was due in November.
“We're all going to be rallying around (her sons), and be the village for them ... Taking care of them, getting them into school, and keeping them focused and not having them hate the police. I don't want them growing up like that,” Nadine Young told The Dispatch.
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