(NEW YORK) — The grandmother of a pregnant 21-year-old, who was fatally shot by an Ohio police officer, spoke out Wednesday during a virtual press briefing following the release of the police body camera video of the incident.
Nadine Young said the body camera video of her granddaughter Ta’Kiya Young’s fatal shooting on Aug. 24, which was released by the Blendon Township Police Department on Friday, made her feel “real sick.”
“It was void of any humanity or any decency at all. He must be held accountable, full stop,” Nadine Young said.
Ta’Kiya Young, 21, of Columbus, was seven months pregnant when she was shot and killed, her family said. Her funeral will be held on Thursday.
Young was a potential shoplifting suspect when she was approached by police in a Kroger’s parking lot, according to police. Body camera video shows Young refusing to leave the car despite orders from officers and one officer was on the driver’s side while the other stood directly in front of the vehicle.
The video shows that as Young accelerated in an apparent attempt to drive away, the officer who stood in front of the vehicle fired the fatal shot.
The officer who shot Young is on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examines the shooting, which is standard practice.
Family attorney Sean Walton Jr. criticized the officer who fired the fatal shot during the press briefing and claimed that he escalated the situation by immediately pulling his gun out.
“Ta’Kiya was in fear of her life. Ta’Kiya was in fear for her baby’s life,” he said. “I can’t imagine that at the point when Ta’Kiya saw that gun come out that she was thinking about anything other than her baby.”
The officer also should not have placed himself in front of the vehicle, Walton said. But to avoid hitting him, Young moved the steering wheel away from him.
Video footage shows Young moving the steering wheel away from the officer.
“Blendon Township’s policy provides that a five-person use of force review board will evaluate and review the evidence to determine if the officer who fired the shot acted within policy. Because it would be irresponsible to make any decisions about what happened without knowing all of the facts, the administrative review won’t begin until BCI completes its investigation and shares its findings,” Police Chief John Belford told ABC News in a statement.
Steven Irwin, a press secretary for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, told ABC News that BCI’s investigation into the incident remains “active and ongoing.”
Irwin told ABC News that the bureau “does not release the name of involved officer(s) in an officer-involved shooting investigation as they amount to uncharged suspects in the ongoing criminal investigation.”
Police officers were in a Kroger’s parking lot assisting a driver who was locked out of her car when a store employee told one of the officers that someone who had allegedly stolen bottles of alcohol was fleeing, Belford said in a statement after the shooting.
The body camera footage released last week shows Young parked in front of the store refusing to leave the vehicle despite repeated orders from police.
The video shows the officer on the driver’s side telling Young that she was accused of stealing, which she denies.
The officer again tells her to get out of the car, according to the video, which Young appears to verbally refuse to do.
In footage from the officer in front of the car, he pointed his gun at Young and yelled for her to exit the vehicle while using an expletive.
The car then accelerates forward, pushing against the officer in front of the car, who then fires a single shot through the windshield, according to the video. The car continued to move forward.
The officers announce “shots fired” as they chase the vehicle for several feet before it comes to a stop, video shows.
As they chase the car, one officer orders Young to stop the car while pointing a gun at her, according to the footage. The video then shows the officers smashing the driver’s side window.
Officers had to break the window to give Young medical assistance due to the door being locked, the police chief said.
Belford said Young later died at St. Ann’s hospital.
Ahead of Young’s funeral Thursday, her grandmother said “It’s going to tear us up.”
“I’ve been trying to be strong for everybody, but I know the closer it gets, it’s going get really bad tomorrow,” she added.
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