Ta'Kiya Young

What we witness on the video footage released is more evidence of murder, a lack of urgency in providing trained medical care to a clearly pregnant and wounded woman, and a concerted effort to shield Officer Connor Grubb from accountability and criminal charges.

In the footage, you hear Officer Grubb repeatedly state “she tried to run me over” to other officers on the scene, as justification for killing Ta’Kiya, before a sheriff’s deputy informs him that he’ll get a lawyer for him and to stop talking. What is clear from the video is that she did not try and run him over, she turned the wheel as far away from him as possible before the vehicle began to slowly move forward and to the right, and Grubb had every opportunity to follow departmental policy and take evasive action instead of discharging his firearm into Ta’Kiya’s chest.

It is curious that Chief Belford would issue a statement with such detail regarding Ta’Kiya’s conduct inside the Kroger store, while issuing no comment whatsoever related to the conduct of his officer, Connor Grubb. He calls the encounter in the parking lot an “assault” by Ta’Kiya, completely disregarding the fact that she turned her wheel as far away from the officer as possible before her vehicle began to move. He also now calls it an assault, after previously calling it an “attempted assault.”

He does not address the numerous policy violations and clear crimes committed against Ta’Kiya when Officer Connor Grubb engaged her. He also comes to all of these conclusions about Ta’Kiya, while asking the public to withhold judgment on the officer who killed a young, pregnant citizen following a petty theft.

Chief Belford should address in the same detail, the conduct he observed of Officer Grubb. Grubb pulled his weapon when he had no lawful reason to do so, in clear violation of departmental policy, and proceeded to murder Ta’Kiya and her unborn daughter. If Chief Belford believes that a petty theft and a slow-moving vehicle warrant the killing of an unarmed pregnant woman, then it is clear that Grubb’s actions that day are directly related to his training and supervision as a Blendon Township Police Officer.

Witnesses have come forth with information regarding what they saw inside the store. Unfortunately, those witnesses will never be able to testify in court because Ta’Kiya’s constitutional rights were violated, and her due process continues to be violated as a victim of crime, who is now being villainized by the same department that murdered her.

The police department has attempted to escalate this petty theft into a crime that justifies the killing that occurred, and it just further illustrates how similar to victims such as George Floyd, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police officers are not held accountable when killing Black and Brown people over petty crimes.

What is clear is that petty theft does not justify murder and comply or die is not the rule of law in this country. The fact that an unarmed woman was shot unjustifiably, then dragged from her car and handcuffed after being shot should shake the conscience of everyone who watches the newly released video footage.

Nearly ten minutes into the footage you hear one officer ask another where the medics are. That officer informs him that medics have not been cleared by officers to come onto the scene yet. It raises the question of whether urgency on the part of officers to get Ta’Kiya to the actual paramedics on scene could have saved her and her baby’s lives.

The fact that Connor Grubb has now given his statement on what happened - that he allegedly shot her within seconds because he believed that Ta’Kiya tried to run him over, despite pulling the weapon before the car ever moved and despite seeing her turn the wheel away from him before moving, and despite clear opportunity to simply move out of the way, should do nothing to quell the calls for the swift justice that this family deserves.

Connor Grubb was ready to shoot, and did so at what he felt like was the earliest opportunity to do so, despite the numerous options at his disposal that could have preserved the sanctity of Ta’Kiya and her unborn daughters lives, and for that he deserves to be terminated and indicted.