JJC Statement on the murder of Ma’Khia Bryant (4/21/21)

“We are disgusted by the murder of yet another Columbus child at the hands of the Columbus Police Department (CPD). Once again, another Columbus family and the community as a whole, are faced with the trauma of losing a child at the hands of CPD. We tell children to call the police whenever they need help, as Ma’Khia Bryant did, but we’re painfully reminded that this help does not extend to all children; for Black and Brown children it could mean a death sentence. Happening while the country was waiting for the verdict of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, our relief that Chauvin was held accountable was immediately overshadowed by an egregious miscarriage of justice in the murder of Ma’Khia.

Our community cannot allow another loss of life at the hands of the police. There is no reforming an institution that aims first to shoot, and asks questions later. We continue to call for divestment of all funds from the Columbus Police Department and an investment of those funds into community-based supports — programs that actually support our communities and young people rather than traumatizes and murders them. We demand the Columbus Police Department immediately fire the officers responsible and hold them accountable for the murder they committed. We stand with Ma’Khia’s family, friends and community in grieving the loss of her life. We will continue fighting in her name — and in the names of all those we’ve lost too soon to police violence — so that every child can live in a world free from the terror of the police.”

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