A funeral has been scheduled for the young, Black and unarmed pregnant mother of two shot and killed by a white police officer in Ohio who approached her with his gun drawn over the nonviolent suspicion of petty theft before firing the fatal shot through the windshield of a car she was driving late last month.
The homegoing service for Ta’Kiya Young, 21, is expected to be held this week while the cop who killed her – reportedly identified as Connor Grubb – avoids any semblance of accountability, including criminal charges.
Young was killed on Aug. 24 as shown on edited bodycam video footage that was made public last Friday, more than two weeks after her death in a supermarket parking lot in suburban Columbus where she was allegedly approached over unfounded accusations of stealing a bottle of liquor.
After refusing cops’ orders to get out of the car, Young – apparently in disbelief that the officer wielded his gun – asked Grubb if he was “going to shoot me” before the fatal shot was fired in front of the Kroger in the town of Westerville.
Video footage shows Grubb standing directly in front of Young’s car and aiming his gun at her. As her car crept forward – not “accelerated,” as the Blendon Township Police Department characterized it – Grubb shot his gun once through the car’s windshield, hitting Young and apparently killing her instantly. All because she allegedly stole a bottle of liquor, claims that an eyewitness later came forward to refute.
The video footage is graphic in nature and should be viewed with discretion. You can view it by clicking here.
Young’s death has sparked a series of protests, including one on Sunday during which demonstrators peacefully reiterated calls for Grubb’s firing and arrest.
Blendon Ohio PD refuses to identify the the cop who shot and killed Ta’Kiya Young.
— Rebecca J. Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) September 2, 2023
Grubb has not been officially identified by the Blendown Township Police Department thanks to “Marsy’s Law,” which allows local law enforcement agencies to keep cops’ identities secret. But Young’s family named him in their statement following the release of the bodycam video footage on Friday. They called for him to be charged with the death of Young’s unborn child, too.
“Having viewed the footage in its entirety, it is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority,” the statement from Young’s family and attorney Sean Walton said in part. “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.”
As of Tuesday, both officers involved in the shooting were reportedly placed on administrative leave.
Whether Young should have complied with police requests is seemingly a question that should be asked only after it’s answered why Grubb felt the need to unholster and shoot his gun over an alleged petty theft by someone not posing a mortal threat to the officer, Walton said.
Young’s family lamented that her young sons would now be forced to grow up without their mother in their lives because Grubb resorted to using lethal force when he had any number of other choices for how to proceed without deadly implications.
“This incident goes beyond the obvious policy violations that occurred. 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 statement added. “We stand united with those in our community and beyond in pursuit of justice.”
A retired 30-year police veteran wrote an op-ed in the Columbus Post-Dispatch explaining how Grubb’s actions are not only egregious displays of incompetence but also “potentially criminal” acts.
“I would not characterize the actions of the officer who fired the round, killing the 21-year-old pregnant mother and her unborn daughter, as an excessive use of force, because at no point in this encounter was force justified,” wrote Jeff Wenninger, who is formerly of the Los Angeles Police Department with a background in investigating officers’ use of lethal. “What I observed was nothing short of a violent, potentially criminal act, perpetrated on nothing more than an uncooperative individual.”
It was in that context that Young’s funeral has been scheduled to take place on Thursday in Columbus.
The Marlan Gary Funeral Home announced on its website that the services for Ta’Kiya Monet’ Yvette Young are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ at 1889 Genessee Ave. in Columbus. Visitation is set to begin at 1 p.m.
The funeral announcement remembered Young as having a “captivating personality and zest for living” and someone who “found joy in the simple pleasures of life, dedicating her time to activities such as cooking, dancing, and creating TikTok videos. Her vibrant spirit and prankster nature filled every room she entered, spreading laughter and light to all around her.”
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