More than a week after Ta’Kiya Young, a 21-year-old Black pregnant woman, was killed along with her unborn baby, outside of a Kroger by a police officer, authorities have finally released the police bodycam footage more than a week after the fatal shooting.
The video footage “showed one officer at the driver’s side window, repeatedly demanding that Young ‘get out of the car.’”
“Ta’Kiyah was in a state of flight from the moment she was allegedly pointed out to the officers until her life was taken,” said Young family attorney, Sean Walton. “She is the victim here, and we demand accountability for the loss of two precious lives — Ta’Kiyah and her unborn daughter.”
So what exactly happened that day in the leadup to this preventable tragedy? In a statement, John Belford, Blendon Township’s Chief of Police, said “two officers were helping someone get into a locked car when a supermarket employee told them several people were leaving with stolen items.”
One of the employees pointed out Young as one of those people, where she was “sitting in her car in the parking lot.” Allegedly, Young had taken “bottles of alcohol without paying.” Belford said, “One officer went to the driver’s side of Young’s car and told her to stop and get out multiple times…while the other officer moved to the front of the vehicle.” This was when Young put her car into gear and started accelerating.
The chief said, “The officer who was directly in the path of the oncoming car fired one shot through the front windshield,” adding “The body camera footage I’ve reviewed also confirms the officer was directly in the path of the car.”
But Young’s father, Timothy Young, is confused about why the police didn’t shoot at her tires, saying “There’s no excuse for this s—.”
Attorney for the Young family, Sean Walton said “She was an unarmed pregnant mother of two…It goes beyond the unjustifiable.”
Walton believes the police have flagrantly weaponized Marsy’s Law, which “seeks to give crime victims meaningful and enforceable constitutional rights equal to the rights of the accused.”
Walton is also disputing the allegations of theft against Young to which the police were responding. Walton says that “a witness has come forward to say that she did not remove the alcohol from the store.”
Community and family members have been enraged about the lack of transparency and delay in making the video footage public. Chief Belford blamed delay on “a small staff trying to process the video and properly redact certain footage in accordance with Ohio law.” Young’s family was “able to review the video before it’s made public.”