Sep 5, 2023 - News

Community protests police shooting of Ta'Kiya Young

A memorial for Ta'Kiya Young on the side of a Kroger building, with a poster, heart-shaped balloon, flowers and tea light candles shaped in a heart

A memorial for 21-year-old Ta'Kiya Young outside the Kroger on Sunbury Road, where a Blendon Township police officer shot her in her vehicle on Aug. 24. Photos: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

Police body camera footage showing a Blendon Township officer fatally shooting a pregnant Black woman has once again thrust local law enforcement into the national spotlight.

Catch up quick: Ta'Kiya Young, 21, died Aug. 24 after being shot in her car that evening in a Kroger parking lot on Sunbury Road.

  • Her unborn daughter, due in November, also died.
  • A Kroger employee accused Young of stealing alcohol from the store and flagged down two nearby officers, according to AP.

The latest: Police released the video on Friday, eight days after the shooting, and it spurred local protests throughout the holiday weekend. It includes graphic and violent content.

  • The largest was on Sunday, when over 100 people gathered in Goodale Park and marched through the Short North demanding justice for Young and others killed by police.

What they're saying: "I'll be lying if I said I knew exactly what we needed, but one thing that needs to stop is murder. [It] is not the answer to every interaction," Donovan Lewis' mother Rebecca Duran said on Sunday, according to NBC4.

  • Lewis, age 20, was fatally shot in his bed by a Columbus police officer last year.

Zoom in: The body cam footage shows the perspectives of one officer standing at Young's car window and another in front of her vehicle pointing a gun, Axios' Ivana Saric reports.

  • They repeatedly tell Young to get out of her car, but she denies the theft accusation and stays inside.
  • Young's car moves forward out of a parking spot and makes contact with the officer holding the gun. He yells, "Get out of the f------ car" and fires one shot through the windshield.
  • The car then rolls toward and strikes the Kroger. The officers break the window to administer first aid.
An overview of the Kroger parking lot where the shooting of Ta'Kiya Young happened
The parking lot where the fatal Aug. 24 shooting occurred.

State of play: In a statement, Young's family called the shooting "a gross misuse of power and authority." They're calling for the arrest and firing of the officer who fired the fatal shot.

  • That officer is on leave. The other is back to work.
  • Police Chief John Belford has not released either officer's name, citing the state's Marsy's Law, which protects the privacy of crime victims.
  • "This was a tragedy. Ms. Young's family is understandably very upset and grieving," Belford said in a statement.

What we're watching: The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an independent review, which is customary for police shootings.

  • Family members will host a press conference "early this week," per their statement.

Of note: Young's funeral service is Thursday and the family has made a GoFundMe to help with expenses.


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