Body camera footage showing the final moments of a pregnant black woman who was shot and killed by police in an Ohio car park last week is expected to be released to the public on Friday.
Ta’Kiya Young, a 21-year-old from Columbus, was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting on August 24 outside a shop in the suburb of Blendon Township. Her unborn daughter did not survive.
Suspected of shoplifting, police say Ms Young was killed after she accelerated her car toward an officer.
The family’s lawyer, Sean Walton, claims the police department has waited to release the bodycam video to minimise media attention on potentially damaging footage.
Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford said the delay was due to staff trying to process the video and properly redact certain footage in accordance with Ohio law. The family will be able to review the video before it is made public, he said.
The police chief gave a brief account of the shooting in a statement on August 25 in which he said two officers were helping someone get into a locked car when a supermarket employee told them several people were leaving with stolen items.
Ms Young was among them, according to the employee who pointed her out sitting in her car in the car park.
She allegedly took bottles of alcohol without paying. One officer went to the driver’s side of Ms Young’s car and told her to stop and get out multiple times, Mr Belford said, while the other officer moved to the front of the vehicle.
Ms Young then put the car in gear and accelerated, Mr Belford said.
“The officer who was directly in the path of the oncoming car fired one shot through the front windshield,” the police chief said. “The body camera footage I’ve reviewed also confirms the officer was directly in the path of the car.”
Police have not provided further details on the moments when Ms Young was shot.
Her car continued about 50ft before stopping on the sidewalk outside the grocery store. Officers broke the car window, pulled her out and began medical assistance with the help of an emergency room doctor who happened to be there, Mr Belford said.
The two officers’ names, ages and races were not immediately released. They are on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examines the shooting, which is standard in cases of police use of deadly force.
Ms Young was expected to give birth to a daughter in November. She also was the mother of two young sons, aged six and three.
Family and friends held a private vigil a day after Ms Young was killed.
Her grandmother, Nadine Young, described her granddaughter as a family-oriented prankster who was a loving older sister and mother.
“She was so excited to have this little girl,” Nadine Young said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“She has her two little boys, but she was so fired up to have this girl. She is going to be so missed.
“I’m a mess because it’s just tragic, but it should have never, ever, ever happened.”
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