(CNN)Three Democratic lawmakers are requesting a federal investigation into the foster care journey of Ma’Khia Bryant and the events leading up to the police shooting that resulted in her death.
Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families urging it to assist local authorities with their review of Bryant’s case. The lawmakers also pushed for an independent federal investigation. “Ma’Khia should be alive today,” states the letter, which was dated May 28.CNN has reached out to HHS for response to the letter. Bryant was a foster child in Columbus, Ohio, under the care of Franklin County Children’s Services on April 20 when she was shot four times by police Officer Nicholas Reardon. Officers were responding to the 16-year-old’s foster home to reports of a disturbance. Bryant’s foster mother, Angela Moore, who wasn’t home at the time, said the dispute stemmed from an argument over housekeeping.Read MoreBody camera footage showed Bryant lunging at another young woman with a knife outside the house before she was fatally shot.”When a child dies in foster care, the system has failed. 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,” the lawmakers wrote. The letter was written on behalf of Paula Bryant and Myron Hammonds, Ma’Khia Bryant’s birth parents. “Unfortunately, it’s apparent that the many systems responsible for Ma’Khia’s protection failed her,” Michelle Martin, the attorney for Bryant’s family said in a statement in late April. Bryant was killed just moments before a verdict was delivered in the killing of George Floyd, finding former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him, including second-degree murder. Bryant’s death highlighted how children in the system fall through the cracks. Previous police records showed 911 calls in the last three years made from the foster home where Bryant lived, including one in late March where a caller using the name of her younger sister threatened to kill someone in their foster home if she couldn’t be placed in a different home.