Body camera footage has yet to be released five days after officers from the Blendon Township Police Department near Columbus, Ohio, fatally shot 21-year-old Ta’Kiya Young, who was pregnant, in a Kroger parking lot. Officials in Blendon Township stated that they are still processing the footage and plan to show it to the woman’s family before making it widely available to the public.
Young was shot and killed on Thursday evening by Blendon Township police officers who were responding to reports of her alleged theft of liquor from the grocery store. The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford.
In a video statement, Belford accused Young and several others of stealing items from the Kroger store. He explained that the officers were assisting someone with a car problem in the parking lot when a store employee alerted them to Young’s alleged theft. The officers approached Young’s vehicle, giving her multiple verbal commands to exit the car and turn it off. However, Young ignored the commands and instead accelerated directly at one of the officers, who fired a single gunshot through the windshield.
The officers pursued Young’s car until it crashed into a brick wall and columns outside the grocery store. They broke the driver’s window to extract Young from the vehicle and provided medical aid until paramedics arrived. Young was transported to Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Blendon Township police are processing the body camera footage, which will take time due to the redactions required by Ohio law. The department has also requested an outside investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Belford emphasized their commitment to abiding by Ohio public records law and releasing the footage in a reasonable amount of time.
Young’s death has sparked peaceful vigils and calls for justice and accountability. Activists and protest groups have gathered at the Kroger store to honor Young’s memory and demand answers. Family and friends have also gathered at Young’s grandmother’s home to remember her and her unborn child.