Sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant's death shocked the world last week and it has sparked a huge debate online over who the guilty party was...
And now, Meghan McCain has confidently spoken out and defended the police officer who fatally shot Ma'Khia.
Here's the full story...
Warning: This article contains details that readers may find upsetting.
Now, the incident involving Ma'Khia Bryant unfolded on April 20th in Columbus, Ohio.
At around 4pm, police officers responded to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.
Bodycam footage provided by the police showed an altercation with a group of individuals outside a house...
Before one of them - sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant - appeared to lunge at another member of the group with a large knife in her hand.
Then, a police officer approached the group in the driveway and shouted "get down" before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.
The officer can be heard saying in the footage, "She had a knife, she just went at her."
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
Ma'Khia's aunt, Hazel Bryant, told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided.
She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself.
She was a good kid. She was loving," Hazel Bryant said, "Yeah, she had issues but that's OK. All of us go through sh*t... She didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street."
As soon as the news of Ma'Khai's death broke, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into the events that took place.
Mayor Andrew Ginther told reporters that information will be released as quickly as possible before adding that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
"The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene...
With many holding signs saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there's maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating," Thomas-St. Clair said.
Ma'Khia's mom quickly spoke out about her daughter's death.
Paula Bryant tells me her 16 year-old daughter Ma’Khia Bryant was an honor roll student and a sweet child. Ma’Khia was shot and killed by a @ColumbusPolice on Legion Lane at 4:30p today. pic.twitter.com/0FfbQVEgSD— Lacey Crisp (@LaceyCrisp) April 21, 2021
"I'm very upset, I'm hurt. I want answers. My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection — not to be a homicide today."
She then said her daughter had been staying in a foster home.
The officer who fired the fatal shot has since been identified as Officer Nicholas Reardon.
Officials say that Officer Reardon, who has been a Columbus police officer since December 2019, has been placed on leave while the incident is investigated.
Of course, opinions on Reardon's actions that day are mixed...
Officer Nicholas Reardon shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant. She was 16 and she only had a knife and was shot 4 times. There’s a lot of people focusing on “what if’s”. The other girls are safe. But Ma’Khia is dead. You cannot justify that.— Destiny Brown (@destinybr0wn) April 22, 2021
With many slamming Officer Reardon for shooting a sixteen-year-old girl and saying that it is yet another example of systematic racism.
But on the other hand, others have applauded Reardon for saving the life of the young girl at risk of being stabbed...
@ColumbusPolice Officer Nicholas Reardon is a hero.— SophiaPv8 (@AfcnViolet) April 21, 2021
He saved a young girl from a knife attack.
Thank you Officer Reardon.
With some even hailing him as a hero.
And one of these people is Meghan McCain.
Now, we all know Meghan McCain for being the daughter of the late politician, John Cain, and she has made quite the career for herself as a huge TV personality here in the U.S.
She is known for her conservative views...
And she isn't afraid of letting them be heard by her critics.
So, as for her latest controversial comments?
Well, McCain has strongly defended Officer Reardon for his actions on the day Ma'Khia was killed.
McCain reacted to the deadly incident in Columbus after The View co-host Sunny Hostin compared the police response to when it is a Black suspect versus a white suspect, such as Atlanta spa shooting suspect Robert Aaron Long.
"A sheriff's office captain said Long had 'a really bad day' and was seeking to 'eliminate' a sexual 'temptation' before he allegedly gunned down eight people," she allegedly said.
"I understand everything Sunny is saying, I hear you loud and clear," McCain responded on the show Thursday, according to The Wrap.
"I just disagree in this situation because she was about to stab another girl and I think the police officer did what he thought he had to do," she added, referring to Ma'Khia.
"This one is harder for me, and if there's one thing I learned from the #MeToo movement, it's that I'm going to take everything by case by case by case situation and I don't think that everything is always comparable."
However, the conservative columnist and television host ultimately agreed that there are issues with racism in law enforcement.
"The way I was raised is to respect authority, to respect police officers, to respect law enforcement. I have a lot of friends who are in the military and who are also police officers," she explained.
She went on:
"But working on this show and experiencing what I've experienced over the past few years, no one without two brain cells in their head can understand that police tend to treat African Americans and people of color a different way than they do white people. And it's just a fact we're all trying to reconcile and come to terms with."
The investigation into Ma'Khia's death continues...
So stay posted for updates on this developing story.