On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) stated that “it’s appalling” that police officers are trained to always shoot for the center of the body, and if Ma’Khia Bryant “had a water gun, if she had a sandwich, if she had keys, if she had a cell phone, and it looks like she was going to hit or harm someone,” the police would have shot her. Beatty also argued that we don’t know whether Bryant’s intention was to kill the person she was attacking with a knife and we can’t say whether the person Bryant was attacking would have been killed.
Beatty said, “Well, I think we have to be in a better position to say that we should be saving all lives. We can’t say that the lady in the pink would have been killed. Here’s what I believe: You see in eleven seconds, four shots and a teenager on the ground dead. I think there has to be a better way. One size can’t fit all. When I hear the police say that they are trained to go to the center of the body and to shoot, here is a situation where the police had been called. They knew they were coming into a situation with girls, a teenager and two women. We should have been in de-escalation mode. It should not be that the car pulls up, an officer gets out, and within 10 seconds. Now, there was another lady that was already on the ground and Ma’Khia had the kitchen knife in her hand. I can’t say that I know that her intentions were to kill this person. I think we should be saving all lives. … We have to learn how to de-escalate. We have to have a better practice, policy, and procedure than it is to go in and put four bullets in a child’s chest with a kitchen knife.”
She added “I don’t support a system of one size fits all. I don’t support a system that you drive up and the automatic thing is to put four bullets in the chest of a 16-year-old. I don’t support one size [fits] all. I think that it’s appalling that we can have someone say, our system is to train officers to go to the center of the body no matter what. So, if she had a water gun, if she had a sandwich, if she had keys, if she had a cell phone, and it looks like she was going to hit or harm someone, the answer is four bullets, six bullets in the back, in the chest? That’s not acceptable.”
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