Rutgers Professor Says Ma’Khia Bryant Was ‘Adultified’ Because ‘She Was a Big Girl’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Brittney Cooper speaks onstage during the 'Feminism: A Batt
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Rutgers University associate professor Brittney Cooper said Ma’Khia Bryant, a black teenager whom a police officer fatally shot after the 16-year-old appeared to attack another with a knife, has been “adultified” because “she was a big girl,” making the remarks during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC.

Cooper discussed the fatal police-involved shooting of Bryant, who is seen on camera wielding a knife, lunging at another girl.

“Look, the arguments for our movement have never been that black people have to be perfect in order for them to deserve dignity, for us to have good policing, for us to be viewed with humanity, for cops to take a breath before they literally get out of the car, guns blazing,” Cooper (pictured) told host Joy Reid, later contending that some do not “understand black girls as girls.”

“But beyond all of that, what are we gonna do about the way we don’t understand black girls as girls?” she asked.

“Ma’Khia Bryant was a child … and the way that she has been talked about as this, you know, because she was a big girl, so people just see her as the aggressor, they don’t see her humanity,” Cooper asserted.

“They have adultified her. We turn black girls into grown women before they even are able to vote,” she continued.

“I have watched folks across the political spectrum really defend this and say … and empathize with the officer, say that he didn’t have any other set of choices,” she added:

What are we training police to do if they are not actually showing up on the scene and making the situation better for all involved? If you can’t figure out how to deescalate a 16-year-old, even with a kitchen knife, when you’ve got a gun and you’re a grown man, you shouldn’t be a cop.

Protests broke out in Columbus, Ohio following reports of the shooting, which occurred after the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Bodycam footage released by the Columbus Division of Police shows the moments leading to the officer firing shots. It shows a knife in the teen’s hand as she appears to try to stab another girl wearing pink, prompting the officer’s action. Bryant then falls to the ground, and the knife can be seen lying beside her.

On Tuesday, Attorney Benjamin Crump falsely proclaimed policed shot an “unarmed” black teen:

Lakers star LeBron James came under fire this week after tweeting a photo of a police officer present at the incident with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT.” He has since deleted it.

“I’m so damn tired of seeing black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer,” he later said, explaining his decision to remove the post.

“[I]t’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism,” he added. “I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY”:

James did not appear to “gather all the facts” of the incident before posting the now-deleted tweet.


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