About 30 minutes before the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was read on Tuesday (April 20), a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed a Black teen named Ma’Khia Bryant.
Musicians were celebrating that Chauvin would be held accountable for killing George Floyd, but as news of 16-year-old Bryant’s death spread, they added to their social media calls for police reform and accountability, while remembering the teen.
Beyonce honored Bryant on her website by posting a picture of the teen smiling, and writing underneath, “We mourn the young life of Ma’Khia Bryant.”
Justin Timberlake tweeted, “Say her name, #MaKhiaBryant.”
The Game also shared his sorrow on Twitter. “16 year old Ma’Khia Bryant murdered by police in Columbus Ohio. This is beyond sad. There was absolutely no time between celebrating the conviction of Derek Chauvin & having to mourn Ma’Khia Bryant… This is really numbing !!!” he wrote in a series of tweets on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It’s really scary raising black children in this country. No matter how much we prepare them for these police encounters, they can still be killed.”
According to the Associated Press, bodycam footage released by law enforcement shows Bryant swinging what appears to be a knife at another female. A police officer yells for them to get down, and at this point, per the AP, the teen charges at a female who is pinned against a vehicle. The officer fires four times, and Bryant falls to the ground.
As the AP reports, a man in the video can then be heard yelling, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!” Bryant was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Per various reports, Bryant was the one who called 911 for help, but police have not confirmed this.
The incident comes as scrutiny over law enforcement’s use of force continues to grow around the country, with calls for police oversight and accountability.
See how artists are reacting to the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant: