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Release of Bodycam Footage Captures Ohio Police Officer’s Fatal Shooting of Pregnant Woman Ta’Kiya Young

by Joshua Brown
10 comments
Police Brutality

On Friday, Ohio law enforcement agencies released body camera footage that depicted the fatal shooting of Ta’Kiya Young by a police officer, an incident that her family has condemned as a “severe abuse of power and authority” against the expectant Black mother.

Sean Walton, legal counsel for the Young family, contended that the video unambiguously demonstrated that the shooting of the 21-year-old woman on August 24 was unwarranted. Walton urged for the immediate termination and legal prosecution of the officer responsible for her death. He also reproached the police department for withholding the footage for over a week subsequent to the incident.

“In conversation with The Big Big News, Walton articulated the family’s grief. “The footage only fortified their belief that Ta’Kiya’s death was inexcusable. Both Ta’Kiya and her young daughter were killed without any justifiable cause, rendering the viewing of the footage a deeply harrowing experience for the family.”

As per standard procedures, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation undertakes a review of the case. No comments were received from the police union regarding the family’s demands for the officer’s firing and legal action. The identities, ethnicities, and ranks of the involved officers remain undisclosed. The second officer at the scene has since been reinstated to active duty.

Blendon Township Police Chief John described the event as a “tragic occurrence.” “Ms. Young’s family is understandably grappling with immense sorrow,” he noted. “While their anguish is beyond our full comprehension, we can offer our thoughts and prayers during this distressing time.”

This event is another in a troubling string of lethal shootings involving Black individuals in Ohio, prompting public outcry and calls for systemic change.

Prior to the public release of the footage, the video was screened for Young’s father, grandmother, and other family members, who then issued a statement through Walton. “The video firmly establishes that Ta’Kiya’s death was not only preventable but also a blatant abuse of power,” read the statement. “Upon watching the video, emotions of anger and frustration were palpable,” Walton disclosed to The Big Big News.

The footage shows one officer conversing with Young through her car’s driver-side window, informing her of theft accusations and demanding she exit the vehicle. Another officer stands in front of the car. Young resists and as she turns the steering wheel, the officer in front fires through the windshield. Her car subsequently collides with a grocery store’s brick wall.

Addressing criticisms over the delayed release of the video, Chief Belford explained that the time taken was due to the need for editing and compliance with Ohio law, which required redacting specific details like the faces and badge numbers of the officers.

Belford also stated that the identities of the officers could not be disclosed yet, as they are being treated as victims of assault. He mentioned that one officer’s arm was still partially inside the car’s window and another officer was positioned in front of the vehicle when Young moved the car forward.

Ta’Kiya Young’s death adds to a growing list of fatal shootings of Black individuals in Ohio.

A fund to cover Young’s funeral expenses has amassed over $7,000. Her surviving family, including her sons aged 6 and 3, are grappling with the loss, struggling to comprehend the gravity of the incident, according to Walton.

Describing her granddaughter, Nadine Young remarked at a press conference, “She was a devoted mother and sibling, eager for the birth of her daughter. She will be deeply missed.”

Contributions to this report were made by Aaron Morrison in New York; Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia; Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania; and video journalist Patrick Orsagos in Columbus.

Samantha Hendrickson is part of the Big Big News/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative, a nonprofit national service program focused on bolstering local journalism.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fatal Police Shooting of Ta’Kiya Young

What is the central incident described in the article?

The article focuses on the release of bodycam footage by Ohio authorities, which shows a police officer fatally shooting a pregnant Black woman named Ta’Kiya Young. The family and their attorney have condemned the shooting as an abuse of power and are calling for the immediate firing and legal prosecution of the involved officer.

Who is representing Ta’Kiya Young’s family?

Sean Walton, a legal counsel, is representing the family of Ta’Kiya Young. He contends that the shooting was unjustified and calls for immediate actions against the responsible officer.

What is the stance of the police department regarding the incident?

Blendon Township Police Chief John described the event as a “tragic occurrence” and acknowledged the family’s grief. The officer involved in the shooting is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Why was there a delay in releasing the bodycam footage?

According to Chief Belford, the delay in releasing the footage was due to the time needed for his small staff to process and properly redact certain footage, such as officers’ faces and badge numbers, in compliance with Ohio law.

What actions have been taken with respect to the involved officers?

The officer who shot Ta’Kiya Young is currently on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The second officer at the scene has been reinstated to active duty. Their identities have not been disclosed, and they are being treated as victims of assault according to Chief Belford.

What has been the public response to this incident?

The fatal shooting has been added to a troubling string of lethal police shootings involving Black individuals in Ohio, leading to public protests and demands for systemic change in law enforcement practices.

What financial aid has been provided for Ta’Kiya Young’s funeral expenses?

A fund has been set up to cover Young’s funeral expenses and has so far amassed over $7,000.

How is Ta’Kiya Young’s family coping with her death?

The family is grappling with immense sorrow and loss, struggling to make sense of the incident. They are particularly concerned about Young’s surviving children, ages 6 and 3, who are yet to fully grasp the magnitude of their mother’s death.

Who contributed to this report?

The report has contributions from Aaron Morrison in New York; Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia; Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania; and video journalist Patrick Orsagos in Columbus.

What is the Big Big News/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative?

The Big Big News/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative is a nonprofit national service program aimed at bolstering local journalism. Samantha Hendrickson, who is part of this initiative, contributed to the report.

More about Fatal Police Shooting of Ta’Kiya Young

  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Blendon Township Police Department Statement
  • Fundraiser for Ta’Kiya Young’s Funeral Expenses
  • Historical Data on Police Shootings in Ohio
  • Big Big News Official Website
  • Report for America Statehouse News Initiative
  • Sean Walton, Legal Counsel for Young’s Family
  • Ohio State Law on Police Bodycam Footage

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10 comments

LisaG September 1, 2023 - 6:11 pm

A pregnant woman shot? This is a double tragedy. Its terrible and something needs to be done.

Reply
ChrisR September 1, 2023 - 7:06 pm

This is insane! how many more black lives have to be taken for real change to happen? Enough is enough.

Reply
DanielS September 1, 2023 - 9:25 pm

So the police are treated as assault victims now? That’s a new low, honestly. They took a life, let’s not forget that.

Reply
TerryM September 1, 2023 - 11:57 pm

paid leave, really? is this how justice looks like? What a messed up system.

Reply
LauraW September 2, 2023 - 2:51 am

Does anyone know if the fundraising campaign is still going? Would like to contribute for the family.

Reply
EmilyK September 2, 2023 - 3:01 am

So sad to hear about the children. Losing their mom like this, it’s just unthinkable. My heart goes out to them.

Reply
SarahJ September 2, 2023 - 11:35 am

Why is the officer on paid leave?? That’s not okay! if he shot someone, why does he get a vacation. Justice for Ta’Kiya!

Reply
MikeAnderson September 2, 2023 - 12:19 pm

Wow, just wow. Can’t believe what’s happenin in Ohio. This is just heartbreakin and it needs to stop. How many more lives have to be lost?

Reply
AaronL September 2, 2023 - 12:49 pm

ive seen the trend in Ohio and it’s not good. We need to do something about this and fast.

Reply
JohnD September 2, 2023 - 1:35 pm

Why does it take so long to release bodycam footage? Should be instant, transparency is key in these situations.

Reply

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