On Monday (August 16), an Ohio coroner ruled the death of Ma'Khia Bryant a homicide.
The ruling, made by Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz, comes nearly four months after Franklin County police officer Nicholas Reardon shot the 16-year-old four times on April 20.
According to reports, Bryant had called police for help after a dispute broke out at the foster home where the teen lived.
Though the coroner determined Bryant died at the hands of another person, the ruling does not criminally implicate Reardon. Last month Ohio Attorney General David Yost announced the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation had passed the case on to the county’s prosecutor and that a grand jury convened to decide whether criminal charges will be brought against Reardon, NBC News 4 reported.
Special prosecutors H. Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer were assigned to the case as legal counsel for the Franklin County Children Services, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement following the release of the coroner’s report. As a foster child, Ma’Khia was in the care of the county at the time of her death.
“We will continue to keep the community apprised of the status of this matter as events warrant,” the statement added.
Community members across Ohio have called on the US Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into police conduct there, following the deaths of Casey Goodson, Jr., Andre Hill, and Ma’Khia Bryant within months of each other.
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The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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