Teenagers have been involved in fights with knives for a very long time, activist and Black Lives Matter supporter Bree Newsome said earlier this week in response to the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old black teen Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio.
“Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers. Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely,” she wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.
Newsome made her remarks after the Columbus Division of Police released a bodycam video of the shooting on Tuesday.
In the footage, Bryant was seen wielding a knife and going after another black girl in a brawl when the officer arrived on the tense scene. She lunged at the pink-clad girl standing next to a car, knife in hand, ready to stab her. After warning Bryant to stop, the officer opened fire several times, fatally wounding her.
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) April 21, 2021
On Wednesday, Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s the ReidOut, discussed Bryant’s fatal police shooting, recalling battles at school where a student had a penknife “and teachers were able to defuse that, and they didn’t have guns.”
In the next tweet, Newsome said people “should be frightened that the ruling white elite have done such a thoroughly successful job of not only disconnecting us from the means of basic self-sufficiency but also convincing us we need armed white officers to manage our children & communities.”
And she ended with: “FRIGHTENING level of oppressive conditioning. Absolutely frightening.
FRIGHTENING level of oppressive conditioning. Absolutely frightening.https://t.co/tO5ek8gz2O
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) April 21, 2021
The next day, Newsome went further when claiming that not “enough is said about white pathological obsession with possessing & consuming Black people’s bodies.”
And she even compared the situation with that of “cannibalism.”
According to her website, Newsome gained national recognition in 2015 after climbing the flagpole at the South Carolina Capitol building and brought down the confederate flag.
Newsome’s tweet about teen knife battles drew a lot of backlash from Twitter users.
“We usually like your takes. Not this time. That girl had a big knife and was about to use it forcefully. Sad situation all around. But the cop (this time!) made a snap decision that saved the girl in pink,” one person wrote.
We usually like your takes. Not this time. That girl had a big knife and was about to use it forcefully. Sad situation all around. But the cop (this time!) made a snap decision that saved the girl in pink.
— RootLogic (@RootLogic2) April 21, 2021
“‘People have been murdering other people for hundreds of years. We don’t need the police to intervene or interfere in a long standing tradition we have had in our society.’ You are an extremist,” another commented.
“People have been murdering other people for hundreds of years. We don’t need the police to intervene or interfere in a long standing tradition we have had in our society.”
You are an extremist.
— Brian Dawe (@DJBrianDawe) April 21, 2021
You’re…arguing its racist for the police to *prevent* the murder of black teenagers? https://t.co/IHDFJiMPxj
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) April 21, 2021
We’ve gone from, we can defund policing to address underlying social ills, to, let’s just let teenagers stab it out amongst themselves rather than get police involved. https://t.co/FMgU5ZURDQ
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) April 21, 2021
Remember all our teenage knife fights? My first was in the Paradise Valley Mall food court. She punctured my lung and sliced off an ear. Killed two of my friends. “They’re white,” the grizzled mall cop said to his rookie partner. “Let ‘em have their fun.” https://t.co/GPSnlQ4piF
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) April 21, 2021