It’s been reported that the Columbus cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old black girl, is in the Air National Guard where he received his expert marksman badge.
Nicholas Reardon shot Ma’Khia Bryant at about 4.45 pm on Tuesday on the 3100 block of Legion Lane while responding to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing – Bryant was allegedly seen charging at another girl with a knife before she was shot.
The shooting came after a court in Minneapolis, Minnesota found ex-police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three charges including murder for the death of George Floyd.
Ma’Khia’s death sparked protests while others throughout the country celebrated the Derek Chauvin verdict.
A news outlet reported that Reardon, a graduate of Bishop Watterson Catholic school in Columbus, was a member of the school’s wrestling team and that while he attended Air Force basic combat training, the school posted updates on his progress.
The school indicated that Reardon graduated from basic combat training in August 2017 before attending the military’s Security Forces Tech School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
The Security Forces Academy teaches a 65-day course where students learn the basic functions of serving as military police, and a photo of Reardon in his uniform at the time indicated he completed training with a rank of Airman First Class.
His alma mater’s Twitter account said he earned the expert marksman badge for the M4A1 Carbine fully automatic assault rifle used by the military, and a news outlet also reported that Reardon appeared to be the son of a retired police Sergeant Edward Reardon.
According to the news outlet, Sergeant Edward Reardon worked with the Columbus Division of Police for 32 years and is also an Air Force veteran – he also served at the Columbus Police Academy’s basic training sergeant.
A Twitter account revealed in a post made in 2019 that Reardon’s father was honoured by an anchor during an Ohio State University football game.
The account tweeted that they were extremely proud of their friend Sergeant Ted Reardon who was recognised that day at the Ohio State Football game. Who they’d served with, in the USAF from 1984-1987 and @ColumbusPolice 1993 to the present.
The Columbus Police Department honoured Edward Reardon when he retired last year in a tweet noting that he trained more than 700 recruits, and the department tweeted that officers across Central Ohio would remember him for his love of Hallmark movies and his get in your face training.
But let’s get this clear, this is not the same as the George Floyd murder or most of the other cases we see come out from the US, on what seems like daily that the minorities are being disproportionately targeted, and the police are too quick to deploy deadly force.
This girl was lunging at another citizen with a knife and the police officer had to protect the life of that other girl. So, what was the alternative to deadly force in this situation?
There’s probably a story behind why the girl was being violent and it may have been out of character, but the police officer couldn’t stop and figure it all out within split seconds when lives are at risk in the moment.
But it does make me wonder why anyone would want to be a police officer now, and I couldn’t think of a more thankless job.
And if this cop was such a sharpshooter, why did he have to take a kill shot to stop her, why couldn’t he have shot to wound and incapacitate so that she could be apprehended and arrested.
So, is this a sane marksman who shot a girl completely dead, or was this an insane girl with a knife? Thankfully I live in a country that doesn’t kill its crazy kids, so it’s not a question I have to answer.