Video of police fatally shooting a pregnant Black woman set to be released, Ohio department says

Ta'Kiya Young, a 21-year-old from Columbus, was pronounced dead shortly after the Aug. 24 shooting outside a grocery store in the suburb of Blendon Township. Her unborn daughter did not survive.

Published: 01st September 2023 07:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2023 07:20 PM   |  A+A-

Black Lives Matter flag

Black Lives Matter flag (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

COLUMBUS: Body camera footage showing the final moments of a pregnant Black woman who was shot and killed by police in an Ohio parking lot last week is expected to be released to the public on Friday.

Ta'Kiya Young, a 21-year-old from Columbus, was pronounced dead shortly after the Aug. 24 shooting outside a grocery store in the suburb of Blendon Township. Her unborn daughter did not survive.

Police say Young, who had been suspected of shoplifting, was killed after she accelerated her car toward an officer trying to stop her.

Sean Walton, an attorney for the Young family, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the family grew frustrated with delays in the police department timeline of releasing body camera video footage publicly.

Although he hadn’t seen the police video before Friday morning, Walton said the footage had been described to him.

“The community is gonna be outraged,” he said. “She was an unarmed pregnant mother of two... It goes beyond the unjustifiable. (The officer) needs to be immediately jailed and charged with murder.”

Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford said the delay resulted from a small staff trying to process the video and properly redact certain footage in accordance with Ohio law. The family will be able to review the video before it's made public, he said.

The police chief gave a brief account of the shooting in an Aug. 25 video statement in which he said two officers were helping someone get into a locked car when a supermarket employee told them several people were leaving with stolen items.

Young was among them, according to the employee who pointed her out sitting in her car in the parking lot. She allegedly took bottles of alcohol without paying. One officer went to the driver’s side of Young’s car and told her to stop and get out multiple times, Belford said, while the other officer moved to the front of the vehicle.

Young then put the car in gear and accelerated, Belford said.

“The officer who was directly in the path of the oncoming car fired one shot through the front windshield,” the chief said. “The body camera footage I’ve reviewed also confirms the officer was directly in the path of the car.”

Police have not provided further details on the moments when Young was shot.

Her car continued about 50 feet (15 meters) before stopping on the sidewalk outside the grocery store. Officers broke the car window, pulled her out and began medical assistance with the help of an emergency room doctor who happened to be there, Belford said.

The two officers’ names, ages and races were not immediately released. They are on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examines the shooting, which is standard in cases of police use of deadly force.

Young was expected to give birth to a daughter in November. An online effort to pay her funeral expenses has raised nearly $7,000.

Ta’Kiya’s siblings, cousins, grandmother and father have rallied around her sons, 6-year-old Ja’Kobie and 3-year-old Ja’Kenlie, who don’t yet understand the magnitude of what happened to their mother, Walton said.

“It’s a large family and Ta’Kiya has been snatched away from them,” Walton said. “I think the entire family is still in shock.”

Family and friends held a private vigil a day after Young was killed, releasing balloons and lighting candles spelling out “RIP Kiya.”

Her grandmother, Nadine Young, described her granddaughter as a family-oriented prankster who was a loving older sister and mother.

“She was so excited to have this little girl,” Nadine Young said at a press conference Wednesday. “She has her two little boys, but she was so fired up to have this girl. She is going to be so missed.”

“I’m a mess because it’s just tragic,” she said, “but it should have never ever happened.”

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