Wagswoofs – The state has finished its investigation into how Ta’Kiya Young and her unborn child died after being shot.
A Blendon Township Police officer shot the pregnant woman, 21, outside of a Kroger in August. Since then, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been looking into the case.
When two police officers tried to stop Young and asked her more than once to get out of her car, they thought she was taking alcohol. When Young drove forward, one of the policemen shot her.
In this case, Mat Heck, who is the prosecuting attorney for Montgomery County, was named the special prosecutor. His office said that the reports from BCI were received this week. After looking into the case, they will decide whether to charge the cop who shot Young, call a grand jury, or do nothing.
Since the shooting on August 24th, the city has considered the officers involved as victims and has granted them the rights entitled to victims under Marsy’s Law. As a result, their names have not been released.
Young’s family is now demanding that their victim’s rights be honored in light of this recent development.
“Kiya held great significance in my life. She held great significance in our family. She held great significance in the lives of the children. She was immensely loved by a multitude of people,” expressed Nadine Young, Kiya’s grandmother.
Nadine adorns her neck with a golden chain, from which dangles a shimmering blue pendant. Within this pendant, she carries the precious ashes of her beloved granddaughter.
“(Ta’Kiya) holds immense value for me. I aspire for her to radiate brilliance consistently,” expressed Young with utmost admiration.
Sean Walton, Young’s attorney, was caught off guard when NBC4 reached out to him for comment on the investigation, as he had no prior knowledge that it had been referred to a special prosecutor.
“We have not been informed about the timeline or the process for this matter. It is unclear whether there will be special prosecutors involved or if it will be handled internally,” expressed Walton. “In my opinion, there has been a lack of proper communication regarding this.”
Under Marsy’s Law, ensuring effective communication with the family of a victim is a priority in Ohio.
Although the officer who shot Young, identified by Walton as Connor Grubb shortly after the incident, has not faced any criminal charges, Young is considered the victim in the ongoing investigation.
“Victims have the right to play an active role in criminal prosecutions,” noted Elizabeth Well, legal director of the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center. “They should have access to information regarding the progress of investigations.”
The OCVJC is collaborating with Walton to guarantee that the Young family is granted those rights as Ta’Kiya’s next of kin.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that I have not received any indication that they would not keep her family informed,” Well stated. “However, my concern is that if the perception is that law enforcement officers are the ones who suffer the most, it may exclude her family from receiving the support they need.”
Blendon Township police initially categorized both officers involved in the incident as assault victims. This classification was based on the fact that one officer’s hand was still inside the window when Young began driving, and her car subsequently struck the other officer.
“It’s a matter of mutual exclusivity. By acknowledging Ta’Kia as a victim, we inherently deny the victimhood of the officers who killed her,” the explanation was clear. “On the other hand, if we consider the officers as victims, we invalidate Ta’Kia’s status as a victim.”
The police department chose not to disclose the names of both officers, citing their rights under Marsy’s Law.
Blendon Township police spokesperson, Ryan Stubenrauch, informed NBC4 that they had considered not releasing Young’s name. Ultimately, they decided against it as the coroner and her family had already publicly identified her.
Officials were legally allowed to release Young’s name because she had passed away. Blendon Township was unaware of the special prosecutor’s involvement, and they are also unaware of the findings of the BCI investigation. After receiving the results, the department will initiate its own administrative investigation into the case.
According to NBC4, it is common practice for the Franklin County prosecutor’s office to utilize a special prosecutor for cases involving officer-involved shootings. Should the special prosecutor choose to proceed, the case will still be evaluated by a Franklin County grand jury.