Ta’Kiya Young’s family is questioning why the Blendon Township police officer who shot their 21-year-old daughter has not yet been publicly identified. On Aug. 24, the officer shot and killed Young in the parking lot of a grocery store and as the Washington Post reports, has not been fired or criminally charged.
Sean Walton Jr., an attorney for Young’s family, told the Washington Post, “If we had video evidence of a citizen committing an act that appeared to be a murder, there would not be a long investigation [beforehand]; that suspect would be identified and that suspect would be charged.”
Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford maintained that the officers who were involved in the shooting of Young were, in fact, victims. Belford cited Marsy’s Law, which is a crime victims rights amendment. In the state of Ohio, according to Marsy’s Law For Ohio, the law ensures that “victims of violent crime have the same co-equal rights as the accused and convicted – nothing more, nothing less.”
The officer who did not shoot Young was allowed to go back out on active duty because the 15-person police department is understaffed.
However, the family, along with Walton, was able to piece together the identity of the man who shot and killed their daughter. They believe through the evidence available to them, namely eyewitnesses and badge number information they were provided, that the officer allegedly responsible is Connor Grubb.
Fred Gittes, a Columbus attorney who specializes in police misconduct, privacy, and public records cases, told the Washington Post, “Police officers are public servants, licensed to kill, and we need to know who they are.”
Gittes also said that the police are twisting the original intent of the law and their status as public servants means that they should not get to hide behind a law intended to protect actual victims of crimes from retaliation.
Young’s grandmother Nadine Young has characterized the behavior of the police as “dishonest” and told the Post before Ta’Kiya’s funeral, “An apology would not be genuine at this point; it has been weeks since Kiya’s murder. I want [Grubb] held accountable.”
Young also told the Washington Post about how the murder of her granddaughter happened while she was in the middle of accomplishing personal goals: “All she wanted was a place of her own and she had been approved for her own place in Sandusky days before her murder,” Young recalled. “That’s been heavy on my mind and heart … that she achieved that goal.”
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Source: Black Enterprise