Her family has since said the officer’s actions were a “gross misuse of power and authority” against the victim, Ta’Kiya Young.
According to the family’s attorney, Sean Walton, the 21-year-old’s killing was unjustified and he has ordered that the officer be fired and charged with a crime. Walton further condemned police for not releasing the footage immediately after the victim was killed.
“Ta’Kiya’s family is heartbroken,” Walton told The Associated Press. “The video did nothing but confirm their fears that Ta’Kiya was murdered unjustifiably … and it was just heartbreaking for them to see Ta’Kiya having her life taken away under such ridiculous circumstances.”
Young’s death is one of many of a fatal disturbing trend of Black fatalities under the hands of Ohio police. According to AP, the “numerous occurrences of police brutality against Black people across the nation in recent years…have prompted widespread protests and demands for police reform.”
At the time of this writing, the officer (whose name has not been revealed) is on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assesses the incident surrounding the shooting, which – according to AP – is standard protocol. A police official said charging the officer with a crime before an investigation is complete is precipitous. Meanwhile, a second officer who was at the scene of the shooting has returned to work. Neither of their races or ranks has been released to the public.
“Ms. Young’s family is understandably very upset and grieving,” Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford wrote in a statement released Friday. “While none of us can fully understand the depths of their pain, all of us can remember them in our prayers and give them the time and space to deal with this heartbreaking turn of events.”