Almost exactly a year ago, Ma’Khia Bryant went down in history as another “black victim” of police brutality. Only, that’s not the real story.
It was just another day on the job when Officer Nicholas Reardon showed up at a cat fight. Several videos show Bryant fighting with another girl when she pulls out a knife and aims for the head or throat of her intended victim. Reardon pulled out his gun and shot her four times.
The shooting spread like wild fire. Thus, the Justice Department started an investigation aimed at Ohio law enforcement. Tensions brewed, and even the foster care system was called into question. The blame game was blistering. The media skewed the event as a racist move from the Ohio officer.
However, Reardon’s quick thinking actually saved a life. Why couldn’t the media call Reardon a hero instead? His action kept violence from ending the life of the victim. As such, the perpetrator went down for her actions.
Here are the real facts. Reardon shot Bryant as she tried to fatally injure Shai-onta Craig. Then, he immediately tried to render first aid. Within 90 seconds he requested an ambulance. Within six minutes, the ambulance was on scene. Yes, Bryant died. And frankly, it’s her own fault.
In the disturbing video, one bystander can be heard saying: “No! You ain’t shoot my f—ing baby!”
“Are you f—ing serious?” the man, who was not identified, is heard screaming. “You shot my baby. Are you f—ing kidding me? Are you f—ing serious?”
“She had a knife,” Reardon is heard saying. “She just went at her.”
“She’s a f—ing kid, man,” the man responds. “Man, are you stupid? A f—ing kid?”
Ironically, this shooting went down on the exact day Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. As such, many people worried that Reardon would be compared to Chauvin, and his actions taken out of context.
The Right Move
However, as Reardon explained, he didn’t see any alternative action that could save Craig. “At the time I fired my weapon, I was in fear for the life of the female in pink,” Reardon said. Between the knife that was being wielded around and Bryant’s size, along with the fact that Reardon didn’t see any back-up at the moment, the officer was forced to make a split-second decision. That’s the job.
Do you want to know how to avoid dying at the hands of a police officer? It’s simple. First, obey the law. Don’t do anything you know to be illegal, thus inviting police activity. Second, if you do come in contact with police, follow their instructions. “Hands up,” “get out of the car,” “place your hands where I can see them,” or “drop the weapon,” all phrases we’ve heard cops use. And all directives that should be immediately adhered to. Clearly, it’s not rocket science.
Luckily for Reardon, he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case. Obviously, it was the right move to make. But Obama shifted the tide between community and police departments across the nation. Millions of people now walk around believing they are automatically allowed to disrespect and disregard the police. Until the police are needed.
When it comes to interacting with police these days, we defund them, defy them, and try to destroy them. It’s like our nation forgot what a first responder is, and why they deserve our cooperation and commitment to the cause.
That’s why Kevin Jackson created “Bleeding Blue.” Forget about getting woke. Instead, wake up America. We’ve declared war upon ourselves. But we don’t have to go down this way. I know there are a few bad cops, but most of these men and women vowed to protect and serve. And they do it no matter who appreciates them. To that end, it’s time we make our next move. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”