On Tuesday night, shortly after police in Colombus, Ohio, released body camera footage of an officer fatally shooting a teenaged suspect who was charging another person with a knife, actress Kathy Griffin took to Twitter to criticize the officer’s split-second actions.
Griffin tweeted, “WARNING. How in the hell does this police officer think it’s a good idea to fire shots blindly into a group of teenagers having a fight. Yes one of them has a knife. Oh, that never happened in your school or neighborhood? She didn’t deserve to die. 16 years old. #makhiabryant.”
The incident Griffin referred to as an officer firing “blindly into a group of teenagers” saw the shooting victim, since identified as Ma’Khia Bryant, charging at another girl with a knife, pinning her to a car and swinging the blade before the officer fired four shots, fatally striking Bryant.
Commenting on the shooting, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said, “We know from this footage that the officer took action to protect another young girl in the community, but a family is grieving tonight.”
Twitter users responded to Griffin and many mocked her comments about the shooting. One user tweeted, “‘What? You never tried to stab someone to death when you were a kid?’”
Another person tweeted, “Wow.. 1) ‘shoots blindly’ but only hits the intended target 2) No, in fact, knife fights weren’t common where I grew up 3) I don’t think you know what the word ‘deserve’ means. Charging someone w/ a knife in front of a cop puts death via gunshot pretty high on the outcome list.”
Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt also tweeted, “Yes a responsible cop would’ve allowed the girl to plunge that knife into the neck of the other girl. It’s clear we are living among total idiots.”
Another person tweeted, “Kathy, I’m for police reform/accountability and there are massive systemic issues that need to be addressed within law enforcement. But this ain’t it. It’s a tragic situation but this is NOT the same thing as numerous others. That girl was a second away from stabbing someone.”
Other people responding to Griffin also criticized the officer.
One person tweeted, “All he had to do was use his taser but no, he just had to use his gun. At this point we just gotta assume they like killing. And dont come at me, you cop-bootlicking-fanboys. This happens to much to be considered accident or ‘poor judgement.'”
Another user also tweeted, “I’m a nurse. Sometimes patients are disoriented or demented and violent. We are taught to descalate the situation and, if we have to, bring them down to the ground safely. We are never to harm a patient. Have no idea why police are not held to this same standard.”
Another Twitter user said, “HE COULD HAVE TASED HER!!!!!”