On Friday, Ohio law enforcement officers released bodycam footage depicting a tragic incident in which an officer fatally shot a pregnant mother of two. The incident occurred when a suspected shoplifter, identified as Ta’Kiya Young, 21, from Columbus, refused to exit her vehicle and instead accelerated toward the officer.
The video footage reveals that moments before the tragic shooting outside a Kroger store in Blendon Township on August 24, officers repeatedly instructed Young to “exit the vehicle!” Young, who had parked her black sedan in a handicap spot, inquired why she was being asked to leave her car. The officers responded, saying, “They said you stole stuff, do not leave.”
Young, a mother of two young sons aged 3 and 6, vehemently denied any wrongdoing, stating, “I didn’t do s–t, the other girls was taking [stuff].”
One of the officers, positioned by her driver’s side window, sternly repeated, “Get out!” and then forcefully struck his fist against the window.
Another officer, positioned at the front of her car with his hand resting on the hood, raises his voice, yelling, “Get out of the f–king car!”
In response to Young’s acceleration towards him, he fires a single shot through her windshield.
Amidst the chaos, screams echo in the background, and the vehicle gradually moves through the parking lot, weaving around a support column near the building, ultimately colliding with the brick facade of the grocery store.
The officers, in hot pursuit, continue to shout, “Stop the goddamn car!” while aiming their guns at her driver’s side window.
The second officer makes a desperate attempt to open her locked door but is unable to do so. Resorting to force, he uses his elbow to shatter the partially opened window in order to reach Young, who is now slumped over the center console.
Subsequently, the officers provided medical assistance to Young, although these efforts were not captured in the video, as confirmed by Blendon Township Chief John Belford in a statement to the Associated Press.
Tragically, Young was later pronounced dead, and her unborn child, anticipated to be born in November, also did not survive.
“She was so excited to have this little girl,” Nadine Young, her grandmother, said at a news conference Wednesday. “She has her two little boys, but she was so fired up to have this girl. She is going to be so missed.”
The family of Young had the opportunity to review the footage prior to its public release. They issued a statement through their attorney, Sean Walton, asserting, “Having viewed the footage in its entirety, it is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority.”
Subsequently, the family is pursuing a criminal indictment against the officers involved.
According to Walton, the family’s patience wore thin due to the police department’s sluggishness in making the footage available to the public.
Belford explained that the delay stemmed from a shortage of personnel tasked with the meticulous process of video editing and redacting specific content, such as officers’ faces and badge numbers, to adhere to Ohio’s legal requirements.
In the meantime, the officers involved are currently on paid administrative leave as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations conducts its inquiry into the incident.