Ohio police shot dead pregnant Black woman; body cam footage shows
An unidentified police officer murders Ta'Kiya Young after responding to a shoplifting incident in a nearby store.
A Black pregnant woman was fatally shot by an Ohio police officer two weeks ago while she was in the parking lot of a grocery store, according to body camera footage released by the police department on Friday.
The Black woman, named Ta'Kiya Young, was shot after she refused to exit her vehicle and instead collided with the officer's car.
The release of the video came in response to demands from Young's family, who were seeking accountability for the officer responsible for the murder. Blendon Police Chief John Belford issued a statement alongside the video release, explaining, "An individual suspected of theft drove her vehicle into one of my officers, and in response, the officer discharged a single round through the windshield," in a clear attempt to downplay the officer's actions.
Sean Walton, an attorney representing Young's family, argued that she was a victim and emphasized the need for accountability, stating, "We insist on accountability for two precious lives - Ta'Kiya and her unborn daughter."
Young's tragic death is part of a recent series of highly publicized cases in the United States, where police officers have faced scrutiny for the brutality with which they treat Black individuals and other minority groups, prompting calls for reforms within the US criminal justice system.
The murder crime took place in the parking lot of a grocery store located in Blendon, Ohio, where officers responded to a store employee call reporting a shoplifting incident.
The video, which was made public on Friday, shows one officer positioned near Young's vehicle, repeatedly instructing her to exit. Another officer approaches the front of the vehicle and points a firearm at the windshield, demanding her compliance.
In the video, Young is seen turning the vehicle's wheels to the right, away from the officer, before the vehicle moves in his direction. The vehicle pushes him backward as he places his left hand on the hood, with his gun drawn in his right hand.
As the vehicle strikes the officer's leg, he fires a single shot through the windshield. The entire encounter unfolds within a span of 25 seconds.
Young later succumbed to the injuries she sustained as a result of the officer's decision to fire at her in a nearby hospital, and her unborn baby daughter did not survive.
Belford had previously stated on Facebook that police officers had been called to the store to assist a shopper who was locked out of their vehicle. Both officers involved in the incident, whose identities have not been disclosed by the department, have been placed on administrative leave, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is currently conducting an inquiry into the matter.