On Tuesday, as a 12-person jury pronounced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts for his role in George Floyd’s death, another apparent tragedy took place in Columbus, Ohio — a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed by police.
The loose “facts” of the incident proved too juicy to fact-check for left-leaning media outlets eager to fuel outrage over alleged police brutality against black Americans. Countless media figures reported before the facts were out that police in Ohio had yet again shot and killed an unarmed black person.
“As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting as Columbus Police killed an unarmed 15yo Black girl named [Ma’Khia] Bryant. Another child lost! Another hashtag,” Benjamin Crump, the attorney for George Floyd’s family, tweeted Tuesday night.
“There has been yet another police shooting of an unarmed 16 year old Black teen girl by police in #ColumbusOhio,” CNN legal analyst Areva Martin added as a matter of fact.
Image Source: Twitter screenshot
But they were wrong.
Right around the same time that Martin posted her tweet, Columbus police released bodycam footage of the incident that clearly showed Bryant aggressively swinging a knife at another girl when she was shot by police. The officer, Nicholas Reardon, rather than being a bloodthirsty racist, appeared to be a hero.
Yet even with the new information, NPR couldn’t get itself to admit the obvious. In one version of its report about the incident, the news outlet stated vaguely that before Bryant was shot, she was “seen swinging her arm toward another woman.” No mention of the knife in her hand.
In an updated version of its report, NPR removed any mention of the knife in Bryant’s hand or of her swinging anything at all.
It says, “[Bryant] then approaches a second girl and throws her against a car parked on the driveway.