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A BLACK teenage girl was shot dead by police in Ohio in the United States on Tuesday, just hours before former cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd by a jury in the state of Minnesota.
The youngster was identified by her mother, Paula Bryant, as Ma’Khia Bryant, who was under the care of the Franklin County children’s services in Columbus.
“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered,” Ms Bryant told TV station WBNS. “This shouldn't have happened,” she said, “I want answers.”
Ms Bryant said her daughter, who had been staying at a foster home, was “looking forward to coming home.”
Investigations are under way to determine what led to the teenager being shot dead. Police have claimed she was carrying a knife and lunged towards another individual. Body camera footage shows an officer shouting: “Get down, get down, get down,” before four shots can be heard.
But her aunt said the teenager was defending herself from being attacked; some reports say that she had called for help.
Local authorities appealed for calm as crowds gathered, chanting: “Enough is enough.”
The killing coincided with Mr Chauvin being found guilty on three charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter — relating to the death of Mr Floyd, a black man stopped for a minor offence, after the officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes last May. The act caught on video sparked protests round the world.
“As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting,” lawyer for the Floyd family Ben Crump said.
Mr Chauvin’s bail was revoked and he was remanded into custody. Sentencing is likely to take place in the next two months. He faces decades behind bars, but is likely to appeal against the verdict.
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