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Ma’Khia Bryant’s sister asked for help before filming

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – 16-year-old Machiavelli Bryant’s younger sister called 911 a few weeks ago after Bryant was shot dead by a Columbus police officer, saying the girls had fought with each other. give notes.

“I do not want to be here anymore,” the girl told the police dispatcher, adding that she has been at home for more than a year.

The 911 call was one in a dozen Columbus foster homes that have been installed since 2017, mostly by Angela Moore, the foster mother, asking for help from foster girls who left without permission or did not leave after returning, according to documents. Եւ 911 calls , obtained by the Associated Press through a survey of posts.

Machi Bryant was shot four times on April 20 by Officer Nicholas Reardon as he stabbed a young woman to the ground seconds after pushing another woman to the ground. Bryant was SJ and Reardon was white.

The shooting further escalated tensions in the Ohio capital over deadly police shootings of black people, which have included three high-profile deaths since December. One week after Bryant’s death, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginter called on the Department of Justice to review the police department for possible “racial inconsistencies.”

But Bryant’s assassination also shed light on the state’s guardianship system. The lawyer representing the family of the murdered teenager called for an investigation into whether the girls in the foster home were properly monitored.

“The whole world has sued Machiavelli over this one case where they see him wield a knife,” lawyer Michelle Martin said this week. “But why don’t we look more and understand who those girls are? How did they get there? How did it develop so quickly? ”

He added. “What trauma was not resolved inside the house?” I mean, there are so many questions that need to be answered. ”

Bryant had only been home since February, but Martin said he had been in foster care for too long.

The treatment of black children by the Ohio foster care system is already under consideration. A review commissioned by Republican Gov. Mike Devin last month found that it was fraught with racial inequality.

Among other discoveries, the child care system has sometimes failed to appreciate the voices and experiences of children with poorly equipped foster care to raise multinational families, and sometimes the children in their care are racist.

The system left caregivers young people unprepared for adults, foster parents struggling to help them. In response, the state has launched a new approach to recruiting, retaining, and caring parents, and instructing employers to take racial justice courses.

Advocates say the review barely scratched the surface of racial inequality that pervades every corner of the system.

“The Ohio foster care system has failed Ma’Khia on a number of levels,” said Dot Erickson-Anderson, administrator of the Ohio Family Care Association Advocacy Group. “It’s a system that has long struggled with our perception of the family.”

But Erickson-Anderson, a former foster parent, says Franklin County, where Bryant lived, is actually one of the best states in the state in terms of working through “racism” within the system.

The records show that the children in Moore’s care were all the same, as Moore was. Records of foster homes և their parents are not published under state law. Message left on Moore Friday.

A 15-year-old girl who called 911 on March 9 by Bryant’s sister told police she wanted to be housed in another house.

Aware that the police could not do so, “Vict oh then got angry and announced that if he could not leave, then he was going to kill someone at home,” the police report said. The girl was later taken to hospital for evaluation.

The 15-year-old sister attended a press conference on April 28 calling for an investigation but did not comment.

Records show that police have taken at least 13 messages related to foster children who have been missing from home or other household problems since 2017.

Among them are:

– An 18-year-old woman told police on February 12, 2017 that she was going to commit suicide because Moore did not allow her to leave. Moore said the woman’s biological mother was at home trying to pick up her daughter.

– On July 6, 2018, Moore’s report that the child, who has been at home since March, left with a friend, did not return.

– Moore’s report on July 13, 2019, that two foster children, 14 և 17, had left home.

– On November 8, 2020, Moore reported that a 13-year-old foster girl had left home after an argument with her foster mother.

– Moore’s report on December 9, 2020, that he needed to oust a 10-year-old boy because he was knocking things off a Christmas tree. “He is 10 years old: “He’s turning to me,” Moore said in a 911 call to the boy.

– On April 7, Moore reported – just two weeks before Bryant was shot dead – that a 13-year-old foster girl had left home.

Shoulders should not be left out when children leave their foster homes because they are usually unhappy to be there in the first place, said Michelle John Onson-Motoyama, a professor at Ohio State University College of Social Work.

“Most kids want to go home no matter what happens in that house,” said John Onson-Motoyama. “They want to go back to their friends, they want to go back to their schools, which is familiar to them.”

Two days after the filming, the Franklin County Children’s Services said they had to make changes.

“We are committed to ensuring that our programming and services address the needs and concerns of their clients as appropriately as possible,” the agency said. “We continue our efforts to dismantle practices that have historically created barriers for the marginalized, especially our children.”

The agency did not return a message requesting comment on the police records. The agency called Bryant’s death a “tragic loss.”

The funeral of a 16-year-old girl took place at Columbus First God Church on Friday afternoon, where there have been “two funerals” in recent months for black people shot dead by police, including Andre Hill.

Critics of police violence և Witnesses to Bryant’s shootings, including Bryant’s father and grandmother, demanded that the officer use other tactics to stop Bryant from firing on him, such as placing an astonishing weapon.

But many experts on the use of force, even some civil rights advocates, say that an officer who “followed his training” could save the girl Bryant was attacking. The national fraternal order of the police called the shooting “an act of heroism, but with a tragic result.”

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Associated Press writer Jul Uli Carm Smith contributed to this Columbus report. Farnush Amiri is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national non-profit program that places journalists in the local media to cover impeccable issues.

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