MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Wednesday told viewers it’s “very difficult to trust” police officers when it comes to the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, before downplaying the use of a knife as something even unarmed teachers can defuse.
Reid, who once claimed hackers traveled back in time to plant homophobic slurs on her pre-fame blog, praised Bryant for her “adorable” TikTok videos before playing body camera footage of her shooting.
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Columbus police released body camera footage of the incident, and the video revealed that Bryant attacked two other females, at least one of whom she swung at with a knife. MSNBC played a portion of the footage, followed by clips of a press conference law enforcement officials conducted on Wednesday.
“The problem is, at this point, everything police say to me is just a claim that needs to be proven,” Reid said.
“They won’t tell us who made the 911 call. Neighbors say that the little girl, Ma’Khia, made the 911 call, they aren’t telling us that. They aren’t being fully transparent,” Reid said. “That’s why it’s very difficult to trust what they’re saying.”
Reid then declared, “I remember fights in, even high school, or even younger than that, where a kid brought a pen knife or something to school and teachers were able to defuse that and they didn’t have guns.”
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Reid’s guest, Lt. Cheryl Orange from the St. Louis Metro Police Department, then criticized the police officer involved in the shooting because Bryant was a “child here that was involved in an altercation with someone else.”
Despite public video of the incident, Orange claimed she “could not see how the young lady was using the weapon,” adding that she “can’t really speak to that” as the MSNBC host nodded along.
As NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck pointed out, Reid then implied the police officers involved might have had bad intentions because one of them wore a Blue Lives Matter facemask.
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“If cops are showing up to the scene of a shooting of somebody, people in pink jumpsuits running around, and teenage girls running around, and your response to that, given the sensitivities we’re in right now on the day of the George Floyd verdict, is to show up in a Blue Lives Matter mask,” Reid said. “What message is that sending to the community and Black people in general about your value for human life?”
Orange responded that a police officer wearing the pro-cop mask was “disrespectful” and “unprofessional.”