On Saturday May 1st, crowds gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus as protesters, members of the families of Ma & # 39; Khia Bryant and Casey Goodson, united to demand accountability and justice for their deaths by police.
Ma & # 39; Khia's mother, Paula Bryant, was one of the people who spoke and described her 16-year-old daughter as an Honor Roll student who loved the color blue and made TikTok videos. Paula also said Ma & # 39; Khia has a great sense of humor and is kind to everyone she has met.
"She had a beautiful smile, was loving, and had a beautiful personality," she told everyone who gathered on Saturday afternoon, according to Columbus Dispatch. "She was a protector and had a motherly spirit around her."
Bryant was shot dead by Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon on April 20. The tragic incident took place outside the nursing home where she lived after Reardon responded to an emergency call. Officers were dispatched after receiving a call about a stab attempt in the 3100 block of Legion Lane. Paula Bryant said Ma & # 39; Khia called the police because girls were fighting outside the home. Body camera footage shows Reardon approaching the driveway where the fight took place before shouting "Down". Four shots were fired at Bryant.
The shooting sparked protests in Ohio and sparked national outrage.
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Paula Bryant was joined by Michelle Martin, attorney representing the Bryant family. She says she wanted Bryant to speak to change the narrative about the teenagers and other children killed by the police.
"I want to give Ms. Bryant the opportunity to share with all of you who Ma'Khia is and was so that you can take this narrative back because while they continue to make our babies vicious, we really need to tell their stories," said Martin said according to the newspaper. "We have to say who our children are. We have to keep them as children."
Tamala Payne, the mother of Casey Goodson, was also in attendance and addressed the crowd as well as Deaunte Bell's mother, Tania Hudson. Bell was fatally shot by police in Columbus in 2015.
The demonstration takes place one day after Ma & # 39; Khia Bryant's funeral, which took place in the First Church of God in the southeast of the city.
A "Back the Blue Freedom Rally!" should also take place on Saturday in the Statehouse, but was postponed for security reasons.