Former FBI agent analyzes body camera footage in Columbus police shooting


Some footage may be disturbing for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Law enforcement officials are taking a closer look at the bodycam footage released by Columbus Police, which shows the moment CDP Officer Nicholas Reardon shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

In the video, you can see Bryant, in a black T-shirt and jeans, with what appears to be a knife in her right hand, moving toward a person wearing pink.

“It appears like maybe the victim was so caught up in the moment and was so focused on perhaps trying to hurt somebody, that sort of just blacked it out,” said Harry Trombitas who is a former special agent for the FBI.

Trombitas said the moment Reardon arrived on the scene he tries to de-escalate the situation by asking what’s going on.

The video shows a fight already taking place between a group of people, and 11 seconds after arriving at the scene, Officer Reardon fires his weapon at Bryant.

“We’re authorized to do that and protect our lives and the lives of other people. As a matter of fact, it’s a duty. It’s not an option,” said Trombitas.

Trombitas went on to explain that officers are trained to analyze the situation and act at a moment’s notice when they see someone is in imminent danger.

Trombitas said in that short time frame it is highly unlikely a different nonlethal method of force could have been used.

“Taser use, which we know may or may not be effective,” he said. “Then, as far as I can tell when you see somebody with a knife, I mean that gun is coming out.”

Officer Reardon has been on the Columbus police force for 16 months. He is off the street during the investigation.

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