What Foster Care Creates

Ma’Khia Bryant

Because police are so quick to shoot first and ask questions later, we will probably never know the whole story of why this 16 yr old black girl in foster care became so distraught or if she had grabbed a knife to threaten others around her or why she would have felt that threatened. The question remains – was there not a better way to subdue her – than to simply shoot her dead ?, even as a jury was rendering a guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin for the malicious killing of George Floyd. There is something not right about how policing is done in these United States.

I can have compassion for this young woman, acting out in hate, as it bubbles up from within her. No doubt she has not had an opportunity to do any true inner spiritual work nor for that matter have the law enforcement officers that encountered her. They become identified with their sense of grievance or their work. I sorrow that this young woman will now never have a chance to find her true self, not the wounded damaged self she was at the time of her death.

The continued killing of people that didn’t pose a threat at the time they were killed is something we need to ferret out of human consciousness. These families are grieving – all of them affected by gun violence, including that delivered by law enforcement.

According to Bryant’s family, it was the 16 yr old victim who called the police for help when a group of “older kids” threatened her with assault. It is never clear that she was actually holding the knife that was later seen on the ground near her. What is clear is that Bryant is fighting with another girl when the officers arrived.  She then approaches a second girl and throws her against a car parked on the driveway. The officer shouts “Get down!” three times, pulls out his gun and shoots in Bryant’s direction at least four times and she falls to the ground.

An investigation is going to be held into the exact nature of these events. It was the officer who shot her that claimed she had the knife. Maybe she had taken it away from one of the other girls during the altercation. Hopefully, the truth will win out. Only an edited version of the body cam footage has been shared. The complete video is expected to be released today, which is Wednesday.

Bryant was in foster care under the custody of the Franklin County Children’s Services. The home is located on Legion Lane where she got into an altercation with someone else also living at the home and where she was ultimately shot dead by police.

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