New details about the tragic police killing of a pregnant Black woman in Ohio have come to light following the release of police bodycam footage on Friday (Sept. 1). The family of Ta’kiya Young says her death is the result of gross misuse of power and authority after she was shot outside of a Westerville Kroger while inside her vehicle a week ago.
The 21-year-old was accused by a store clerk of stealing alcohol on Aug. 24. At the time of the incident, she was seven months pregnant with her unborn daughter. Two Blendon Township police officers were in the parking lot assisting a person who was locked out of their car when they were alerted to the alleged theft.
In the footage, the first male officer is seen on the driver’s side of the parked vehicle, commanding Young to get out of the car as she verbally refuses to do so. His partner is shown with his gun drawn as he stands in front of her car with his hand on the hood, echoing commands. The video goes black as the sounds of a collision, a single gunshot, a female scream, and an officer’s yelling are heard.
When the video resumes, the woman’s car is no longer in a parking space but instead a few feet away near the store’s curb. A bullet hole is also seen in the windshield, right above the steering wheel. The vehicle slowly rolled onto the sidewalk before coming to a stop as it hit the building. Young is seen slumped over, leaning toward the passenger seat, as an officer breaks her window to administer aid to her. She was transported to Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, where she and her baby died.
On Friday, Young’s family released a statement about the police shooting that said, “It is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable but also a gross misuse of power and authority. As if the pain of losing Ta’Kiya isn’t enough, we must grapple with the knowledge that her unborn daughter was also robbed of her life in this hateful act.” The statement continued, “After seeing the video footage of her death, this is clearly a criminal act, and the family demands a swift indictment of this officer for the killings of both Ta’Kiyah and her unborn daughter.”
The officer who fired the lethal shot is currently on administrative duty pending the outcome of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s probe into the incident. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said neither of the men’s identities will be released as they are uncharged suspects in the criminal investigation. Young is survived by her two sons, ages three and six.
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