Joy Behar: Columbus policeman who shot Ma'Khia Bryant could have just shot 'the gun in the air'

Behar suggested the officer could have just shot his gun in the air instead of aiming it at the 16-year-old.

“He said the cop had no choice … and my feeling is I don’t know if that’s true or not,” Behar said. “I really can’t figure it out anymore. It seems to me … in a situation … I’ve looked at the tape and I still can’t figure it out. Shoot the gun in the air, warning, tase a person, shoot them in the leg, shoot them in the behind. Stop them somehow. But if the only solution is to kill a teenager, there’s something wrong with this.”

“Even if the cop had to do it, there’s something wrong with it,” she said. “I can’t explain it any better than that … We keep talking about this over and over again and kids still keep getting shot.”

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Behar’s suggestion comes a day after an unidentified reporter was slammed for asking Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods if the Columbus officer could have shot Bryant in the arm or leg instead of aiming for center mass.

“Can an officer shoot the leg, can they shoot somewhere that would not result in a fatal wound?” the reporter asked.

Woods explained officers are not trained to shoot the leg because it’s too small a target.

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Hostin, however, agreed with Behar that the officer in question had several alternatives and she proceeded to pose questions to suggest systemic racism exists within U.S. policing. 

“My question is, why is deadly force always the first order of business, and especially the first order of business when it comes to Black and Brown people in this country?” she asked.

“We shouldn’t live in a country, quite frankly, where it’s acceptable for the police to shoot a 16-year-old four times in the chest over a fight,” Hostin went on. “It goes from zero to execution very, very quickly when there is a Black or Brown person involved. That’s just the truth.”

Multiple media outlets have pushed the same narrative this week, be it identifying the race of the Columbus officer or misleading readers and viewers into thinking that Bryant was unarmed when the police arrived at the scene.

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NBC News is under fire for editing the 911 call to omit the mention of a stabbing, and for failing to show the part of the body camera footage that captured Bryant lunging at another young woman with a knife.

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