Ta’Kiya Young did not have to die.
When it comes to a black woman, no one ever stops to think of her story. Unlike ‘Karen’s’ who have the ability to cry and get a response with a phone call, black women’s feelings, conditions, marital status, or mental health is never considered at first sight.


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The senseless shooting of the 21-year old black woman, Ta’Kiya Young led to protests and an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation into the use of deadly force by the police in Blendon Township. The pregnant mother was accused of stealing liquor when she was pulled over and killed in less than one minute.

Young was an aspiring social worker and mother of two boys, ages 6 and 3. She had been expecting a third child in November.

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The Columbus branch of the N.A.A.C.P. has called for the officer, who, video shows, opened fire as Mr. Young drove forward, to be fired.

Ms. Young’s family said in a statement on Friday that the body-camera footage shows that her death was “not only avoidable, but also a gross misuse of power and authority.”

The police showed the video to Ms. Young’s father, grandmother and other relatives on Friday morning before it was released to the public, according to the family’s lawyer, Sean L. Walton.

According to the Blendon Police, two officers were in the parking lot of a Kroger supermarket on Aug. 24, helping a woman who had been locked out of her car, when a Kroger employee approached one of them and said that Ms. Young had stolen bottles of alcohol.

The video shows one of the officers walking up to Ms. Young, who was behind the wheel of a car in a parking spot, knocking on the window and telling her repeatedly to get out of the car.

“They said you stole stuff — do not leave,” the officer says.

Ms. Young remains behind the wheel and tells the officer that she did not steal anything, the video shows.

During the confrontation, the second officer walks directly in front of the car, commands her to get out and then draws his gun as she turns the wheel, the video shows.

As Ms. Young drives forward, and appears to hit the officer, he fires into the windshield, striking Ms. Young, whose car then rolls slowly forward and crashes into the wall of the shopping plaza, the video shows.

Ms. Young was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Mr. Walton, who said that Ms. Young’s family believes her death should lead to an indictment of the officer who shot her.

In a statement released by Mr. Walton, Ms. Young’s family said, “As if the pain of losing Ta’Kiya isn’t enough, we must grapple with the knowledge that her unborn daughter was also robbed of her life in this hateful act.”

John Belford, the Blendon police chief, called Ms. Young’s death “a tragedy in our community.”

“Ms. Young’s family is understandably very upset and grieving,” he said in a statement. “While none of us can fully understand the depths of their pain, all of us can remember them in our prayers and give them the time and space to deal with this heartbreaking turn of events.”

Chief Belford said that he had placed both of the officers on paid administrative leave after the shooting, although the officer who did not fire his gun has since returned to duty.

Chief Belford did not release the names of the two officers, saying that they, along with Ms. Young, were “possible crime victims” whose identities cannot be released without a waiver under the Ohio Constitution and a state law known as Marsy’s Law, or the Ohio Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights.

The officer who shot Ms. Young was a “victim of attempted vehicular assault,” Chief Belford said.

The officer who was standing next to the car had his hand and part of his arm in the window when Ms. Young drove forward, making him “a victim of misdemeanor assault,” the chief said.

Chief Belford said he had asked the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the shooting.

A bureau spokesman said on Friday that the investigation was continuing and that the findings would be sent to the county prosecutor to determine if criminal charges were warranted.

The Blendon Police also released a version of the body-camera footage narrated by Russell Martin, a former sheriff of Delaware County, Ohio, and a former chief of police in Delaware, Ohio.

Chief Belford said he had asked Mr. Martin to “make observations and provide contextual comments” about the shooting without drawing conclusions about whether it was justified.

In that video, Mr. Martin says that the officer who shot Ms. Young was in “a clearly vulnerable position” directly in front of the car and adds, “Police officers are trained to draw their firearms when threatened with deadly force, which can be from a gun, a knife or a vehicle.”

Mr. Walton, the Young family’s lawyer, said that the officer had violated department policy, which states that officers should take reasonable steps to move out of the path of a vehicle instead of firing.

He also said that, according to a witness, Ms. Young had not stolen anything from the store.

The Blendon police referred questions about the theft accusation to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which declined to comment, citing the continuing investigation.

In the days since the shooting, protesters have gathered outside the Kroger to express outrage at Ms. Young’s death and to demand accountability.

“Whatever she did, it doesn’t warrant her being shot and her unborn baby being killed,” Nana M. Watson, president of the Columbus branch of the N.A.A.C.P., said in an interview on Friday. “It’s tragic, and it’s horrific for this community.”

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