The attorney for Ma’Khia Bryant’s family is calling for a federal investigation into her death and the foster care system. During a press conference on Wednesday (April 28), Michelle Martin of The Martin Law Firm in Columbus, Ohio said her firm will “investigate every agency that had a time and an opportunity to prevent Ma’Khia’s death.” She then went on to say that they “will push for those investigations beyond this shooting” and that “all systems failed” the teen.
“I hear the anger of those who want to make the counterargument of what happened in that moment. But if you aren’t angry about why this happened, if you’re not angry about why this continues to happen, then you are truly the problem,” Martin said, according to 10 WBNS.
On April 20, Bryant was gunned down by Officer Nicholas Reardon just minutes before ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. According to the teen’s aunt, the young girl called the police for help after getting into a physical altercation with a group of females at her foster home. Bryant, who was armed with a knife for protection, was immediately shot when the officers arrived at the scene.
Interim Chief Michael Woods justified the shooting, saying that an officer can use deadly force when the person appears to be inflicting harm on another person.
Last week, Angela Moore, Bryant’s foster mom, revealed what led to the fight that took place prior to the shooting. In an interview with CNN, Moore said that the argument began because the ladies were arguing about cleaning the house. She said that when two of her former foster care children came to Columbus, Ohio on April 20 to celebrate her birthday, the women began arguing with Bryant over the house being unclean.
“It was over keeping the house clean,” she said. “The older one told them to clean up the house because ‘Mom doesn’t like the house dirty.’ So, that’s how it all started.”
Bryant’s funeral will be held on Friday (April 30). The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating her death.