Officer shooting deaths show need to reevaluate U.S. policing systems, says former police captain

  • In the wake of the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, former Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said that there needs to be more consistency in police training. 
  • “I think we need to look at the whole system. Create a network where bad officers, if they’re put in this network, they can’t continue to go on from police department to police department,” said Johnson.

Former Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said that the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, as well as Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd, should be taken as watershed moments to create changes in policing across the country. 

"I think we need to look at the whole system. Create a network where bad officers, if they're put in this network, they can't continue to go on from police department to police department," said Johnson. "There needs to be a national registry."

Authorities released body cam footage Tuesday, the same day as the shooting, that appeared to show an officer in Columbus shoot and kill Bryant, who was armed with a knife. The officer was responding to a 911 call. In the video, Bryant is fighting with another girl, then appears to lunge with the knife in hand, and that's when the officer intervenes and shoots.

Johnson told CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" that officers have to make a split-second decision in the heat of the moment. 

"The training teaches you to go through your force continuum, and see what level of force is needed to stop the threat, especially when it's a threat for serious injury or death," Johnson said. "We just have to make sure we do all the training that we can, and if there's other options, whether it's a child or an adult, we need to take whatever is the least lethal force we can use in that continuum."

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting death of Ma'Khia Bryant.

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