Additional bodycam footage is released in the death of pregnant Black mother Ta’Kiya Young
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio authorities on Friday released additional bodycam and surveillance footage of the events leading up to the death of Ta’Kiya Young, a 21-year-old pregnant Black mother fatally shot by police in a grocery store parking lot late last month.
Young, who was suspected of shoplifting, was killed by a Blendon Township police officer who fired a single bullet into her windshield after she refused to leave her car and it started rolling toward him. Her unborn daughter, due in November, did not survive.
Young’s family members held a funeral for her on Thursday. They have called for the officer, whose name has not been released, to be fired and charged in her death. Earlier this week, police released bodycam footage showing the officer firing the gun. After viewing the footage, the family released a statement calling the officer’s actions a “gross misuse of power and authority,” especially given that Young had been accused of a relatively minor crime.
The additional security footage made public on Friday shows Young and two other women walking around the liquor department of the Columbus-area store. Young can be seen putting multiple bottles of alcohol into her purse and a tote bag while out of sight of the cash register. She and the two other women then leave without paying.
Sean Walton, the Young family’s attorney, said earlier this week that his law firm had found a witness who stated that Young put down the bottles before leaving the store, and therefore had committed no crime.
Walton told The Associated Press on Friday that while the witness ended up being mistaken, it does not change the fact that Young was killed for an alleged minor offense.
“I see nothing but more evidence that a murder occurred, more evidence of the policy violations that occurred, and more reason why this officer should be terminated and indicted for murder,” Walton said.
The additional bodycam footage also shows police officers quickly rendering medical aid to Young after she is shot. They break the window of her car, which has rolled into the brick wall of the supermarket, and pull her from the vehicle. The tote bag full of liquor is visible as they drag her from the car.
Then, following police procedure, they handcuff her as they try to stanch her bleeding gunshot wound. Young can be heard moaning before she loses consciousness.
Walton said he understands the police policy of handcuffing a suspect for the officers’ own safety, but he said the visibly pregnant and wounded Young posed no threat to them.
“The handcuffing is inhumane,” he said.
Both officers, with the help of an emergency room doctor who happened to be in the parking lot, continue medical aid until paramedics arrive. The officer who shot her can be heard saying multiple times that Young tried to run him over, and the other officer responds, “I know.”
Young’s family has not viewed the newest bodycam footage, and Walton said he advised them not to do so because of its graphic nature.
Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford has said that Ohio law prohibits the release of the officers’ identities because they are being treated as assault victims. One of the officers’ arms was still in the door of Young’s car when it started moving and the other officer was still standing in front of the vehicle, he said. ___
Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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