Pregnant woman’s family urges Ohio cop’s arrest after video shows him killing her

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Body-cam video of fatal police shooting of Black woman in Ohio is released

Ohio authorities release body-cam video showing the fatal police shooting of Ta’Kiya Young, a young pregnant Black woman whose fetus also died.

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Ohio authorities released body-camera video Friday of a police officer fatally shooting Ta’Kiya Young in what her family denounced as a “gross misuse of power and authority” against the pregnant Black woman.

Sean Walton, a lawyer representing Young’s family, said the video clearly shows that the Aug. 24 shooting of the 21-year-old woman was unjustified, and called for the officer to be fired and charged immediately. He also criticized police for not releasing the video for more than a week after the shooting.

“Ta’Kiya’s family is heartbroken,” Walton said in an interview with the Associated Press. “The video did nothing but confirm their fears that Ta’Kiya was murdered unjustifiably ... and it was just heartbreaking for them to see Ta’Kiya having her life taken away under such ridiculous circumstances.”


Young’s death follows a troubling series of fatal shootings of Black adults and children by police in Ohio and numerous cases of police brutality against Black people across the nation in recent years — events that have prompted widespread protests and demands for police reform.

The officer who shot Young is on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examines the shooting, which is standard practice.

A police union official said it was premature to call for charging the officer before an investigation is complete. A second officer who was on the scene has returned to duty. Their names, races and ranks have not been released.

Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford called the shooting a tragedy.

“Ms. Young’s family is understandably very upset and grieving,” he said in a written statement released Friday morning. “While none of us can fully understand the depths of their pain, all of us can remember them in our prayers and give them the time and space to deal with this heartbreaking turn of events.”

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Young’s father, grandmother and other relatives watched the video before it was made public, and released a statement Friday through Walton, saying: “It is undeniable that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority.”

While watching the video, the family felt “a lot of anger, a lot of frustration,” Walton told the AP. “More than anything, there was ... a sense of just devastation, to know that this power system, these police officers, could stop her and so quickly take her life for no justifiable reason.”


The video shows an officer at the driver’s side window telling Young she had been accused of theft and repeatedly demanding that she get out of the car. A second officer is seen standing in front of the car.

Young protests, and the first officer repeats his demand. Then both officers yell at her to get out. Young asks them, “Are you going to shoot me?” seconds before she turns the steering wheel to the right and the car moves toward the officer standing in front of it.

He shoots her through the windshield and her sedan drifts into the brick wall of a grocery store.

Officers then break the driver’s side window, which the police chief said was to get Young out of the car to render medical aid. Video of her receiving medical assistance was not provided.

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In his interview with the AP, the family’s lawyer denied that Young had stolen anything from the grocery store. Walton said his firm found a witness who saw Young put down bottles of alcohol as she left the store.

“The bottles were left in the store,” he said. “So when she’s in her car denying that, that’s accurate. She did not commit any theft, and so these officers were not even within their right to place her under arrest, let alone take her life.”


Brian Steel, executive vice president of the union that represents Blendon Township police, criticized Walton’s characterization of Young’s fatal shooting as a murder before all the facts were in. He said an investigation would determine whether the shooting was justified.

The officer “had to make a split-second decision while in front of a moving vehicle, a 2,000-pound weapon,” Steel said.

Responding to criticism of the delay in releasing the video, Belford said it took time for his small staff to process it and properly redact parts, such as officers’ faces and badge numbers, in accordance with Ohio law.

He said the officers’ names could not be released at this point because they were being treated as assault victims. He said one of the officer’s arms was still partially in the driver’s side window and the other officer was in front of the car when it began to move it forward.

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Young’s death is one of numerous killings of Black adults and children by police across the nation that have drawn protests and demands for more accountability from law enforcement. Among the most prominent cases was George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis in May 2020. Then-Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes on the street outside a convenience store where Floyd had been accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder.

In Ohio, Donovan Lewis, 20, was lying on his bed in August 2022 when he was shot by an officer serving a warrant. Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl in foster care who was accused of swinging at two people with a knife, was fatally shot in April 2021. And in December 2020, Casey Goodson Jr., 23, was shot five times in the back by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy.


Ohio Families Unite for Political Action and Change, a grassroots organization focused on eradicating police brutality, said the video of Young’s shooting shows officers’ conduct was “violent, defenseless, and egregious” and that they had acted as “judge, jury and executioner.”

Young was expected to give birth to a daughter in November. Family and friends held a private vigil a day after Young was killed, releasing balloons and lighting candles that spelled out “RIP Kiya.” An online effort to pay her funeral expenses had raised over $7,600 as of Friday afternoon.

Young’s siblings, cousins, grandmother and father have rallied around her sons, 6-year-old Ja’Kobie and 3-year-old Ja’Kenlie, who don’t yet understand the magnitude of what happened to their mother, Walton said.

“It’s a large family, and Ta’Kiya has been snatched away from them,” Walton said. “I think the entire family is still in shock.”

Young’s grandmother, Nadine Young, described her granddaughter as a prankster as well as a loving big sister and mother.

“She was so excited to have this little girl,” the grandmother said at a news conference Wednesday. “She has her two little boys, but she was so fired up to have this girl. She is going to be so missed.”


“I’m a mess, because it’s just tragic,” she said. “But it should have never, ever, ever happened.”

AP staff members Aaron Morrison in New York; Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia; Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania; and Patrick Orsagos in Columbus contributed to this report.