Ohio police release video showing officers’ fatal shooting of pregnant Black woman Ta’Kiya Young

by Andrew Wright
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Police Shooting

The authorities in Ohio have recently made public the bodycam footage depicting the fatal shooting of Ta’Kiya Young, a pregnant Black woman, by police officers. The incident, which occurred on August 24, has been strongly condemned by her family as an egregious display of power and authority against a young Black woman who was also expecting a child. Tragically, both Ta’Kiya Young and her unborn daughter lost their lives during the encounter.

The footage, which was released more than a week after the incident, reveals an officer positioned at the driver’s side window of Young’s car, repeatedly instructing her to exit the vehicle. The officer informs her that she has been accused of theft, prompting Young to protest. The officer persists in demanding that she step out of the car. In response, Young turns the steering wheel to her right and accelerates towards the officer who is standing in front of her vehicle. This action prompts the officer to fire shots through the windshield at Young. Moments later, her car drifts and collides with the brick wall of a nearby grocery store.

Following the collision, officers break the window of the car. Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford explained that this was done to both remove Young from the vehicle and provide necessary medical assistance. However, footage of the medical aid being administered was not included in the released materials.

Prior to the public release of the footage, Young’s family members were given the opportunity to view it. Through their attorney, Sean Walton, the family released a statement denouncing the incident. They expressed their belief that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only preventable, but also a clear abuse of power. Walton called for a swift criminal indictment of the officers involved in the shooting of Young and her unborn child.

The delay in releasing the bodycam footage was attributed to the need for proper processing and redaction of certain elements, such as officers’ faces and badge numbers, in accordance with Ohio law. The officers involved have not had their names, ages, or races disclosed as of yet. They have been placed on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducts a standard review of the incident involving the use of deadly force by the police.

Ta’Kiya Young was expected to give birth to a daughter in November. A fundraising effort to cover her funeral expenses has raised nearly $7,000. Her family, including her sons Ja’Kobie and Ja’Kenlie, have been deeply affected by the loss. Young’s loved ones described her as a family-oriented individual who was also a prankster. Her grandmother shared that she was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her daughter.

In the aftermath of this tragic event, Young’s family and friends held a private vigil, commemorating her life with balloons and candles. Her grandmother, Nadine Young, spoke about Ta’Kiya’s loving nature and her excitement about becoming a mother to a daughter. The family’s grief is profound, and the incident has left them in shock. The entire episode underscores the need for thorough investigations into cases of police use of deadly force and highlights the devastating impact of such incidents on families and communities.

This report was contributed by Samantha Hendrickson, a corps member for the Big Big News/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Aaron Morrison, a national writer for Big Big News, also contributed to this report from New York.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Police Shooting

What happened in the incident involving Ta’Kiya Young?

Ta’Kiya Young, a pregnant Black woman, was fatally shot by Ohio police officers outside a grocery store. The incident occurred on August 24, resulting in her death and the loss of her unborn daughter.

What prompted the shooting?

The bodycam footage shows an officer demanding Young to exit her vehicle, alleging theft accusations. Young’s protest and subsequent acceleration towards an officer led to shots being fired at her through the windshield.

How did the family react to the incident?

Young’s family denounced the shooting as a “gross misuse of power and authority.” They viewed the footage before its release and demanded accountability for what they deemed an avoidable tragedy.

Why was there a delay in releasing the bodycam footage?

The delay was attributed to the need for proper processing and redaction of sensitive elements, in compliance with Ohio law.

What actions are being taken?

The officers involved are on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation reviews the incident. The family is seeking a swift criminal indictment of the officers.

How has the community responded?

The incident has sparked outrage and calls for justice. A private vigil was held to commemorate Ta’Kiya Young’s life, and her family has received support from both friends and local communities.

What impact has this incident had on the family?

Ta’Kiya Young’s family has been deeply affected by the loss. Her absence leaves a significant void, especially for her two young sons, who are grappling with the tragedy of losing their mother.

What measures are being taken to prevent such incidents?

The incident underscores the need for thorough investigations into cases of police use of deadly force. Public awareness and calls for accountability can help drive changes in law enforcement practices.

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