Ta’Kiya Young: hundreds of furious protesters chant ‘black lives matter’ demanding justice for pregnant woman shot dead by cop in Ohio
- Ta’Kiya Young, 21, was shot dead by a cop in Columbus, Ohio, on August 24
- She was a mother to two and had a third child on the way who was also killed
- Hundreds of people poured onto the city’s streets to demand ‘justice’ on Sunday
- They include her high school teacher who remembered her ‘beautiful smile’
Demonstrators made speeches in Goodale Park, central Columbus, on Sunday before chanting ‘black lives matter‘ as they walked the streets to demand justice for the 21-year-old mother-of-two.
Cops approached Young while she was in her car at a Kroger parking lot on August 24 because they believed she had been shoplifting, though the family’s lawyer denies she was involved in theft.
Shocking bodycam footage shows the moment one officer shoots through the front windshield – killing Young and her unborn child – as her car began to roll slowly towards him.
The horrific incident in Blendon Township, northern Columbus, has caused an uproar in the local community and beyond.
Hundreds of people rallied together in Goodale Park at 6pm for a protest organized by the People’s Justice Project.
Among the speakers were Young’s high school teacher, Malissa Thomas St Clair, 48, who told DailyMail.com they remained ‘very close’ after she graduated.
She said Young’s family are ‘still in disbelief’ and feel that they can’t properly grieve her death until they know the name of the cop who killed her.
‘The family of Ta’Kiya Young deserves to know who killed their daughter,’ the Columbus-born teacher told DailyMail.com, adding that she leaves behind two sons aged three and five, a sister, father, grandmother and great-grandmother.
‘I feel like it is unfair for the family not to know who the murderer is.’
St Clair cautioned that she did not support the cop’s name going public if it would hurt his family, but stressed that Young’s relatives had a right to know his name.
Young was seven months pregnant when she died and was ‘excited’ to have her first daughter join her family.
‘She was due at the start of November,’ St Clair said. ‘She had a baby in her belly.
‘She had already named her daughter, she already has two sons, and she was very much looking forward to becoming a mother of a daughter, that was something very special to her.’
St Clair said Young overcame ‘adversity’ in her younger years that ‘could have made anybody else hardened’ – but described her as ‘joyous, engaging and hard-working’.
‘She had a smile that would light up the room,’ the teacher said. ‘She helped others that were being bullied – that was her big thing. She would always stick up for the underdog.’
St Clair said Young came to her when she fell pregnant aged 16 – but ‘made a promise’ that she would still finish high school and go to college, which she did.
Speaking at the demo, St Clair also slammed people who have claimed Young ‘used her vehicle as a weapon’ against the officer who shot her.
‘That vehicle was going no more than 2 miles an hour,’ she said. ‘That man (the cop) wouldn’t have died from that miles per hour.
‘She was getting out of the way because she knew she was going to die. She was trying to save her daughter’s life.
‘Ta’Kiya Young was murdered. Ta’Kiya Young’s baby was murdered.’
Several more speakers took to the stage, including event organizer Raman Obey, who blasted ‘police violence’.
‘We’re out here because people have lost their lives due to police escalation, police militarization and overall police violence,’ he said.
‘And that added pressure of being pregnant – I can’t even begin to imagine what she was thinking at that time… but it’s not until that second police stepped in front of that car that it turned into a tragedy.
‘That baby’s last words were, “are you going to shoot me?'”
Another organizer, Emily Cole, pointed out that the cop who shot Young has not yet been named or arrested.
‘They [police officers] get to hide their name and not face the community,’ she said.
‘These families get no justice, no accountability and they can’t even sue because of qualified immunity.’
After the park protest, the demonstrators’ numbers swelled as they took to the streets chanting ‘black lives matter’ and ‘no justice, no peace’.
Many carried banners bearing Young’s name along with others killed by cops in America.
Young’s family has called for the cop responsible for her death to be arrested, their attorney Sean Walton has said.
Walton said the bodycam video clearly shows that the shooting was unjustified.
‘The video did nothing but confirm their fears that Ta’Kiya was murdered unjustifiably…and it was just heartbreaking for them to see Ta’Kiya having her life taken away under such ridiculous circumstances,’ Walton told AP.
‘Ta’Kiya’s family is heartbroken.’