Former Missouri State Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson said the fatal police shots of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, as well as Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the death of George Floyd, should be viewed as a turning point in policing changes create across the country.
“I think we need to look at the whole system. Create a network where bad officials, once they join that network, cannot go from police to police,” Johnson said. “There has to be a national register.”
Authorities released footage of body cameras on Tuesday, the same day as the shooting, which appeared to show an officer in Columbus who shot and killed Bryant, who was armed with a knife. The officer responded to an emergency call. In the video, Bryant fights another girl and then appears to jump with knife in hand. Then the officer intervenes and shoots.
Johnson told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith that in the heat of the moment, officials must make a split-second decision.
“The training teaches you to go through your force continuum and figure out what strength it takes to stop the threat, especially if it is a threat of serious injury or death,” said Johnson. “We just have to make sure we’re doing all we can and if there are other options, whether it’s a child or an adult, we have to use the least lethal force we can on this continuum.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an investigation into Ma’Khia Bryant’s death.