CNN analyst Anthony Barksdale said Thursday that the shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio was “justified from a policing perspective.”
Barksdale, who is also a former police officer, said on “New Day” that Officer Nicholas Reardon followed his training, made a split-second decision, and “did his job.” (RELATED: The New York Times’ Mara Gay: US Seems To Be ‘Invested In The Spectacle Of Black Death’)
“The officer used lethal force when he saw that another citizen, another person, human being, was in clear and imminent danger of being stabbed. The officer used his service weapon to stop the threat,” Barksdale said.
“Officers are trained to shoot center mass, and that is your core, the chest area, your torso, and that is what he did to stop the threat.”
“So if we’re looking at policing, the officer used his training. He also was in the legal area that’s needed to use force. So I stand on that this unfortunate, tragic incident was justified from a policing perspective,” he continued.
Host Brianna Keilar chimed in that she understood what Barksdale was saying, but that many people were looking at the tragic incident as parents, and might be looking at the scenario as if it were their child.
“I wonder what could have been different. Couldn’t something have been different?” she asked.
Barksdale responded that even though some people might suggest using a taser in that scenario, rather than a lethal weapon, it might not always work. He stated that in the video it looked as if Bryant was holding the knife in a position so that it was “cocked back” and “appeared to be ready to move forward.”
“Nobody wants this little 16-year-old girl dead. Nobody wants that,” Barksdale continued.
“The officer — he took an oath, he’s doing the job, and I’m sure that he didn’t want that to happen … Look how fast this happens. He gets out and he’s saying, ‘what’s going on, what’s going on,’ and that fast it rolls his way, and the next thing, he has to make a decision.”
“It is a tragedy. And I am not saying that this is just something society should just say, ‘Oh, okay, she had a knife.’ No, I am not saying that. I am saying that, per training, the officer did his job, and we need to start looking at each incident as its own incident,” he concluded.
Bryant was shot and killed by Reardon Tuesday as it appeared she was attempting to attack other individuals with a knife. Reardon repeatedly told Bryant to “get down” before opening fire on her.
The officers attended to Bryant and called medical personnel to help, but she ultimately passed away.
Immediately following the shooting, incorrect media reports said that the 16-year-old girl was unarmed.