Police in the US state of Ohio have released body camera footage of the fatal shooting of pregnant Black woman Ta’Kiya Young, which sparked public anger and renewed calls for an end to deadly police violence in the United States.
The footage released on Friday showed the 21-year-old’s killing in a grocery store parking lot in Blendon Township, a suburb of the Ohio state capital, Columbus, on August 24. Authorities said Young’s unborn child did not survive the shooting.
Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford has characterized the incident as a “tragedy” that occurred when police tried to stop Young after she was accused of shoplifting.
But Young’s family has called the killing “avoidable”, a “gross misuse of power and authority” and a “hateful act”, according to local media reports.
The US has seen mass protests in recent years against deadly police violence, including the 2020 killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Advocates have continued to demand accountability and an end to anti-Black racism.
In the body camera footage released on Friday, an employee is heard telling a police officer in the parking lot of a Kroger’s grocery store that Young had shoplifted.
The officer, who was helping another person in the parking lot at the time, approached the driver’s seat of Young’s parked car and told her to get out.
The car then accelerates forward, and a second officer who was standing in front of the car fires a single shot as the vehicle makes contact with him as he jumps to the side.
The body camera footage then shows the car slowing down but continuing to move forward into a wall as the officers run beside it. They then break the car’s window to gain access.
Her family has said her unborn daughter was due in November. Young also had two other children, according to the family.
Police have not released the identities of the two officers, citing an Ohio law that protects the identities of crime victims.
Police have argued that both officers involved in the fatal incident fall under this category. They said one officer had his arm inside Young’s window when the car accelerated, which constituted assault. The other officer, they said, was the victim of an attempted criminal assault.
Ramon Obey, lead organizer with the People’s Justice Project civil rights and advocacy group, said the incident showed “property was deemed more valuable than Black life.”