USE-of-force expert Seth Stoughton said that the cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant had no other option but to use deadly force against the teen.
“With the caveat that I only know what is shown on the video, I don’t see any clear options or alternatives that were available to the officer,” Seth Stoughton told the Columbus Dispatch.
Police officer Nicholas Reardon was criticized for not using different methods to disarm the teen and de-escalate the situation instead of using a firearm.
However, Stoughton thinks that events of the incident happened “too quickly” for Reardon to take any other action.
In a situation where someone is “actively” attacking a person with a knife, de-escalation is not the right tool to use, according to Stoughton.
“When an officer sees one person attacking another person with a weapon at close range in a way that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, lethal force is appropriate,” Stoughton said.
“The use of a firearm is the most reliable way to address that imminent threat,” he added.
Stoughton had a different opinion about the use-of-force approach in the case of Chauvin, who was convicted last week for murdering George Floyd last year.
“Both the knee across Mr. Floyd’s neck and the prone restraint were unreasonable, excessive, and contrary to generally accepted police practices,” he said.
The 16-year-old Black teen was shot by police in Columbus on Tuesday mere hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three counts of manslaughter and murder charges in the killing of George Floyd.
Read our Ma’Khia Bryant shooting blog for the latest news and updates.