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Family of Ta'Kiya Young continues call for charges against Blendon Township Police officer

A Blendon Township police officer who shot and killed 21-year-old Ta'Kiya Young approaches Young's vehicle.
Courtesy of Blendon Township
Body camera footage blurs out the face of a Blendon Township police officer who shot and killed Ta'Kiya Young, 21, who was accused of shoplifting from a Westerville Kroger on Aug. 24.

Nadine Young, Ta'Kiya Young's grandmother, is speaking out following the Friday release of body camera footage that shows her granddaughter being shot and killed by a Blendon Township police officer on Aug. 24.

Nadine Young said she wants the officer who shot and killed her granddaughter to be held accountable, and is also calling for change to a system of policing that she says values power more than people. She said it was heart wrenching to watch the video Friday that showed her pregnant granddaughter be shot by police after she was accused of shoplifting by a Kroger employee.

"It was a breach of police protocol. It was void of any humanity or any decency at all. He must be held accountable full stop. Saying that Ta'Kiya deserves justice is an understatement... she deserves to be here," Nadine Young said.

The video shows the two officers attempting to unlock another person's locked car when a Kroger employee approaches them and alleges that Ta'Kiya Young had stolen from the store. One officer approached Ta'Kiya Young's car from the side and ordered her to get out of the car, which she did not do.

A second officer approached and stepped in front of the car and pulled out his pistol. Within seconds, Ta'Kiya Young tried pulling away from the scene and her car pushed the officer. The officer fired one shot through the windshield, striking her in the chest. She died the same day at St. Ann's Hospital.

Ta'Kiya Young was six months pregnant at the time, and due to give birth in November.

Her funeral is planned for Thursday, exactly two weeks after the shooting.

Nadine Young is now taking care of her two great-grandchildren as the family prepares for the funeral.

Attorney Sean Walton, who is representing the family, said the family is calling for the swift indictment and termination of employment for the officer who shot and killed Ta'Kiya Young.

"When there are criminal wrongdoers, we hold those wrongdoers accountable. And so we cannot have a situation where we have a Jason Meade that takes one year to be indicted for killing Casey Goodson Jr. Same for Donovan Lewis and Officer Ricky Anderson. We cannot have these continued delays that are justice denied," Walton said.

Police are withholding the officer's identity citing Marsy's Law, which protects the identities of crime victims.

Nadine Young said she not only wants to see the officer who killed Ta'Kiya Young held accountable, but wants to see wider changes to policing.

"We know that this world isn't safe for some of us. And it is because the system of policing values power more than people. My family and other families who who have also lost loved ones to police in this city deserve to see swift, measurable change," Nadine Young said.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.