On Tuesday, police shot and killed a Black teen in Columbus, Ohio not long before Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. And in a video showing the aftermath of the incident, one of the officers at the scene had the audacity to yell “blue lives matter” out at the crowd.
Police were responding to reports of teen girls fighting outside of a foster home where 15-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant lived. After they arrived, they saw Ma’Khia approach another girl with a knife and responded by immediately shooting her four times.
Details surrounding the shooting are still emerging, but the girl’s aunt, Hazel Bryant, said that Ma’Khia actually called the police herself and was trying to intervene in the situation.
In the aftermath, a small crowd of neighbors gathered, and video taken at the time shows a couple of people shouting at the cops from far on the other side of crime scene tape.
“Did you ever stop to think that she might have been defending herself?” a woman can be heard demanding.
After that, the small group converses among themselves about the shooting. Nearly 30 seconds later, seemingly unprompted, a cop from down the street angrily yells out at the group that “blue lives matter.”
“What an insult!” a man fires back at him. “Especially at this place right now!”
“This 15-year-old just got killed and you’re talking about ‘blue lives matter?’ Get the f—k serious, bro,” the woman recording chimes in. “He shot her ‘cause she had a knife.”
According to The Washington Post, an officer at the scene was also wearing a “blue lives matter” face mask, though it isn’t immediately clear whether it was the same officer that said the slogan that has come to be a rebuttal to “Black lives matter” or a different one.
The shooting of another Black child was already bound to spark outrage, but the audacity these cops had in the immediate aftermath is showing exactly what kind of people they are. And folks aren’t standing for it.
That this shooting—and the egregious commentary from police afterward—happened around the same time that Chauvin was being handed his guilty verdict just confirms what people were already saying. His case is a single instance of accountability, but there’s a much deeper systemic sickness to root out when it comes to America’s police force.