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Ohio Police Release Body Camera Footage in Fatal Shooting of Pregnant Black Woman

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OHIO, USA – Public anger and calls for police accountability have surged following the release of body camera footage that shows the fatal shooting of a pregnant Black woman, Ta’Kiya Young, in Blendon Township, Ohio.

The incident occurred on August 24, 2023, in a Kroger grocery store parking lot, where Young was accused of shoplifting.

Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford characterized the event as a “tragedy,” saying officers were trying to detain Young.

A still image from body camera footage released by the Blendon Township police shows an officer pointing his gun at Ta’Kiya Young moments before shooting her outside a grocery store in the US state of Ohio [Blendon Township police via AP Photo
A still image from body camera footage released by the Blendon Township police shows an officer pointing his gun at Ta’Kiya Young moments before shooting her outside a grocery store in the US state of Ohio [Blendon Township police via AP Photo

However, Young’s family has called the incident an “avoidable” and “hateful act,” adding that the footage showed “a criminal act,” according to local reports.

The case comes against a backdrop of a broader national discussion about police violence and racial justice, fueled in part by protests that erupted after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.

Incident Details

In the released footage, an officer approaches Young’s car, following an employee’s allegation of her shoplifting.

After a brief verbal exchange, Young’s car accelerates. A second officer standing before the car fires a single shot as the car moves forward.

Young was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Authorities confirmed her unborn child did not survive.

Both officers involved in the incident remain unidentified, with the police claiming they fall under an Ohio law protecting crime victims’ identities.

One officer had his arm inside Young’s car window when she accelerated, which police argue constitutes assault.

The other officer was a victim of “attempted criminal assault,” according to police statements.

Family and Community React

Chanda Brown, the attorney representing Young’s family, questioned the justification for using deadly force in this case.

“I saw a young woman get killed. In that video, I didn’t see any exoneration for the police officer,” Brown said.

Ramon Obey, the lead organizer with the People’s Justice Project civil rights and advocacy group, condemned prioritising property over human life.

“Black women deserve more, this fatal encounter with the police cannot be minimized,” said Obey, calling for justice for Young and her unborn child.

A community rally is also planned for this weekend in Columbus to bring further attention to the case and to call for an end to police violence against Black communities.

Next Steps

As the investigation continues, Young’s death serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing struggle against systemic police violence and racial inequality in the United States.

While the incident has provoked local and national outrage, it remains to be seen what legal and systemic changes, if any, will emerge due to this tragedy.

The story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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