Last week, on August 24, 21-year-old Ta’Kiya Young was shot and killed by a police officer in Blendon Township, Ohio. Young’s family, represented by attorney Sean Walton, are demanding the release of the body camera video to reveal exactly what happened. Police said on Wednesday that the footage would be released to the public on Friday.
First, let’s get into the official police account of what happened.
From ABC 6:
Blendon Police Chief John Belford previously said that officers responded to a report of a woman stealing alcohol from the Sunbury Road Kroger location. Belford said Young put her car in drive and accelerated toward an officer who fired his sidearm through a car window, striking Young. She later died at St. Ann’s Hospital and lost an unborn daughter.
Walton disputed that Young was committing the theft at the time police responded, saying a witness has come forward to say she did not remove the alcohol from the store. He also said police have weaponized Marcy’s Law, which is intended to protect the victims of crime.
You’ll never convince folks who aren’t on Team “Back The Blue” that a cop is justified for firing into a car because they say the driver accelerated. You had time to pull your gun, aim at the driver inside the car and fire a fatal shot, but you didn’t have time to get out of the way?
Unfortunately, with stories like this, many people will get caught up in whether Young, who, according to Walton, was pregnant at the time of the shooting, actually stole alcohol from Kroger, and everything else will become an afterthought.
There are more important questions:
Was Young armed? Is shoplifting an offense that should warrant deadly use of force by police? Was shooting her necessary? Did she actually accelerate her vehicle? Was the officer in any life-threatening danger, or did he just see the car coming towards him as an excuse to shoot and kill?
Of course, those last two questions could possibly be answered by the video footage Young’s family has been demanding to see.
“While legal review and video redactions are still ongoing, we will be ready to release the body camera footage of the officer-involved shooting to the public by Friday after the family has had the opportunity to see it Friday morning,” Belford said in a statement. “We spoke to the family’s attorney on Wednesday, and I am appreciative of his help coordinating with the family during this difficult time.”
And yet, the family’s attorney doesn’t appear to be happy with the way the legal process is moving thus far.
More from ABC:
“We have to understand how unfair this process is and why we have push for accountability,” Walton said. ” … The only victims here are Ta’Kiya and her unborn child.”
Walton called the use of Marcy’s Law against a crime victim as “heartless.”
“What’s not fair is for this family to be bullied by a system that should be protecting them,” Walton said.
Walton said the release of the video being moved to Friday was meant to minimize public exposure and news coverage of the deadly shooting.
“A baby was snatched from the womb of its mother,” Walton said.
Walton also released the following statement:
“Ta’Kiyah was in a state of flight from the moment she was allegedly pointed out to the officers until her life was taken. She is the victim here, and we demand accountability for the loss of two precious lives — Ta’Kiyah and her unborn daughter. The officer responsible must be identified, the body camera footage must be released immediately, and the officer and this department must be held accountable for his escalation of this incident that led to their deaths.”
As of Thursday, a GoFundMe account set up for Young has already exceeded its $5,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted and can be made by clicking here.
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