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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Beatty, Brown, and Wyden Request Investigation Into Events Leading Up to the Death of Ma’Khia Bryant

Jun 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (OR) are requesting an investigation into the events prior to the tragic death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant on behalf of her parents Paula Bryant and Myron Hammonds.

Before she was tragically shot to death by a police officer responding to a domestic dispute call, Bryant spent two years moving between at least five different foster care homes. State-level data show that Ohio children are placed in the foster care system at a rate 10 percent higher than the national average. Despite research indicating that kinship care is beneficial to children’s health, well-being, and cultural identity, the State of Ohio provides far less financial support to a child who is placed with a kinship caregiver than it gives to a child placed in a licensed foster care setting.

“The federal government has an obligation to protect the civil rights of all individuals, especially those children, young people, and parents involved in federally-funded child welfare systems,” wrote the lawmakers. “When a child dies in foster care, the system has failed.” They continued, “It failed Ma’Khia Bryant, who lived in her foster family home for about two months before a police officer shot and killed her in front of that home on April 20, 2021.”

A copy of the letter is available on Beatty’s website.