Officer-Involved Shooting in Columbus Demonstrates Risks of Media’s Rush to Be Woke

In the hours following the shooting death of a black female teenager who was attacking several people with a knife, the mainstream media launched The Narrative that it was a race-motivated shooting. While bodycam footage quickly shattered The Narrative, several outlets are not giving up the fiction that the deceased was an innocent victim of racist police.


An African American teen was killed after police, responding to a 911 call, shot her while she attempted to stab two people.

  • Bodycam footage from the police officer who shot Ma’Khia Bryant, released within a few hours of the incident, show Bryant attacking two people with a knife just before the officer fired four shots.
  • Local leaders, even after the bodycam footage was released, with Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin tried to tie the incident to the recently-announced Chauvin verdict, and saying Columbus must change police “training and hiring process” after the officer used deadly force to stop a threat to someone else’s life.
  • The Columbus officer who fired on the attacker was identified as Nicholas Reardon, who has been on the force since 2019.
  • Activists are exploiting the shooting (of a person attacking two people with a knife) to continue their protests of police, saying the Columbus incident proves “the system of policing is broken.”
  • NBA superstar and apologist for Communist China LeBron James tweeted a photo of Reardon along with the caption “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” before deleting the tweet and pretending to apologize for targeting Reardon for harassment.

Bizarre Hot Takes on Twitter

  • Former advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett: A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability.   Fight for justice.
  • Former sports reporter and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (responding to Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther): Your police department murdered a 15-year old CHILD with impunity right before the Chauvin verdict, then officers taunted people in the neighborhood, while others traced an insult in the sky. You have a disaster, Mr. Mayor. Take the side of justice here or get the f*ck out.
  • Self-described artist and grassroots organizer Bree Newsome: Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers. Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely.
  • O.J. Simpson: Wait for the facts! #LeBronJames

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times’ coverage the day after the shooting provides a clear timeline of events of the shooting, noting the apparently stark difference between this incident and the death of George Floyd a year ago. The Times also reported two experts told them the use of force “appeared at first glance to be justified.”
  • The Daily Beast is shading its reporting with vague references to the deceased attacker’s knife-wielding melee caught on camera, calling it “a chaotic encounter involving a knife” while using Officer Reardon’s past as an Air National Guardsman and his certification as an expert marksman against him and as evidence of “the militarization of police.”
  • CNN’s actual reporting on the fatal encounter leads the story with acknowledging the knife attack that occurred as Officer Reardon was exiting his cruiser and citing Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther urging the city’s residents to remain calm and wait until all the facts are out.




Return to Freespoke

© Dallas Gerber, 2021