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Sandriana McBroom, right, and Makhiya McBroom, centre, light candles that spell out "RIP Kiya" at an August 25 vigil in Columbus, Ohio. (Courtney Hergesheimer/The Columbus Dispatch/AP)

US: Police claim assault caused fatal shooting

September 10, 2023

(CNN) — Police in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Blendon Township have released redacted surveillance footage showing the moments leading up to the fatal officer shooting of a 21-year-old pregnant woman.

Ta’Kiya Young died after she was shot by an officer in the parking lot of a Kroger in Blendon Township on August 24. Young had been accused of shoplifting, police said.

The disclosure comes about a week after police released body-worn camera footage showing an officer firing through the windshield of Young’s car. After seeing the body camera footage, Young’s family called the shooting a “criminal act” and “gross misuse of power and authority.”

Some of the surveillance footage released Friday is from inside the store, and Young is seen walking around the building and placing several bottles of liquor into her handbag.

Young stands in line at the cash register before leaving with two other women, the video shows.

Alarms went off as the women exited the store, police said.

Surveillance footage from outside of the store shows a different angle of the encounter with police. Young is seen exiting the store and getting into the driver’s seat of a black Lexus parked in a handicap spot.

She is approached by two officers with one in front of the vehicle. The vehicle then appears to slowly move forward. The video ends with the officers chasing after the car which has moved out of view of the camera.

Young, who died at a hospital, was pregnant and the fetus did not survive, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office previously said.

“What we witness on the video footage released today is more evidence of murder, a lack of urgency in providing trained medical care to a clearly pregnant and wounded woman,” the attorney for Young’s family, Sean Walton, said Friday in a statement to CNN.

“What is clear is that petty theft does not justify murder and comply or die is not the rule of law in this country. The fact that an unarmed woman was shot unjustifiably, then dragged from her car and handcuffed after being shot should shock the conscience of everyone who watches the newly released video footage,” Walton said.

Authorities on Friday also released longer versions of the body camera footage from the two officers involved.

The videos blur the faces of the two officers and their names have been redacted because of state law that affords victims the right to keep personally identifying information confidential, police said. The officers were victims of assault as the car moved, according to a police news release last week.

Brian Steel, executive vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9, said after the initial body camera release, “A weapon is not just a firearm. A weapon is also a 2,000-pound vehicle that somebody puts in gear and is driving at you.”

“I understand why it could be justified but, again, I don’t make that decision,” Steel told reporters last week, referring to the shooting. He said he assumed the officer believed he could not get out of the way of the vehicle quickly enough.

On Friday, Blendon Township Chief of Police John Belford said the shooting was a “tragic situation for everyone,”

“We recognize that these (surveillance) videos will create more discussion and even anger by people who have passionate feelings for or against the officer’s actions,” the chief said. “But we’re simply complying with our promise of transparency and our obligation to release public records as required by state law.”

Young’s family and Walton have called for the officer who shot Young to be fired and criminally charged.

Body camera video captures audio of police encounter

The originally released body camera video shows an officer approaching Young’s driver’s side window outside the Kroger and repeatedly telling her to get out of the car.

A second officer, who is also wearing a body camera, then steps in front of the sedan.

“They said you stole something….get out of the car,” the officer at the window says, telling Young not to leave.
“I didn’t steal sh*t,” Young can be heard saying as the two argue back and forth with her window ajar.

Police previously said a grocery store employee had notified officers that a woman who had stolen bottles of alcohol was in a car parked outside the store.

“Get out of the f**king car,” the officer standing in front of the car says, his gun drawn and his left hand braced on the hood of the car, the video shows.

At one point, Young is heard saying, “You gonna shoot me?”

Young can then be seen turning the wheel of the car as the officer next to her window continues to urge her to exit the vehicle.

“Get out of the f**king car,” the officer in front of the car repeats as the vehicle begins to move slowly forward, the video shows.

A few seconds elapse and then the officer standing in front of the hood fires through the windshield.

After the shot, the officers run alongside the car yelling at the driver to stop.

The car rolls onto a sidewalk between two brick columns and into a building.

Officers call for backup and break the window to reach the driver, who appears to be slumped over to one side.

Police allege officers were victims of assault

Police say the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an independent investigation of the shooting.

The state probe could take “several weeks or months,” according to Steve Irwin, the press secretary for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which includes the bureau. Once completed, the investigative findings will be forwarded to the county prosecutor who will make a decision on pursuing any potential charges, he said.

Police have said the officers haven’t “waived their rights as victims” in this incident and are withholding their identities.

“When Ms. Young drove her car directly at Officer #1, striking him, Officer #1 became a victim of attempted vehicular assault,” police said in a news release.

“When Ms. Young pulled away from Officer #2 while his hand and part of his arm was still in the driver’s side window, Officer #2 became a victim of misdemeanor assault,” according to the police.

Authorities said the officers quickly helped Young after the shooting, adding EMS was called 10 seconds after she was taken out of the car. The officer who fired the shot also grabbed a trauma kit and applied a chest seal to her wound in under two minutes after she was removed from the vehicle.

The officer who fired his weapon is still on administrative leave, but the second officer is back at work. Belford, the police chief, said after reviewing the videos, he didn’t see a reason to keep the second officer on leave.

The Blendon Township Police Department’s use of force policy says that when it’s “feasible,” officers should take “reasonable steps” to get out of the way of an approaching vehicle instead of firing a weapon.

“An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no 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,” the policy states.

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