Democrat rep says cop who killed Ma'Khia Bryant 'did what he was trained to do' and made 'split-second decision'
A FLORIDA Democrat said the cop "responded as he was trained to do" in the shooting death of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant.
Rep Val Demings, a former police chief in Orlando, said Nicholas Reardon seemed to act "with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted" on Sunday.
Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation, Demings said that officers at the scene don’t see the whole thing play out in slow motion and that they need to make "split-second decisions and they’re tough."
She noted that as a police chief, she and her officers would review incidents to make sure their policies "met the moment."
"I worked as a social worker with foster care children," she added, apparently referencing the fact that Bryant was in foster care at the time of the shooting and her death.
"It's a sad moment for me."
"But I also was a patrol officer who was out there in the street having to make those split-second decisions," she said.
Demings told host John Dickerson that with the limited information she had, she felt the officer in the Bryant case did as they had been trained to do.
However, the Florida representative also tweeted on April 20 in support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
"We owe it to George Floyd and so many others to build a nation of liberty and justice for all," she wrote.
"The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a start. The Senate must stop their delays and pass our legislation."
Bryant died after Officer Reardon shot her in an incident that took place in Columbus, Ohio, on April 20.
Police body-camera footage from the incident showed two females in an argument, as one was thrown to the ground.
The girl standing over her, who was identified by her family as Bryant, appeared to be holding a knife.
Someone could be heard yelling "Get down!" multiple times as an officer pulled out his gun and fired multiple shots.
The shooting occurred just before Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of Floyd.
Ma'Khia's biological mom, Paula Bryant, and her sister, Hazel, are reportedly consulting with an attorney to prepare to take legal action following the teenager's death.
"Someone has to be held accountable," the late teen’s cousin, Deja Torrence, said in an interview with Insider.
"The family just doesn't want this to be another senseless killing that goes under the rug and gets overlooked."
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