The 16-year-old, who was shot dead by police in Columbus, Ohio, was an avid user of the Chinese social media app popular with teens, where she posted a number of hair tutorials. In the 24 hours after her death, those videos were viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
“This is how we want to remember #MakhiaBryant. Joyful. Beautiful. Adorable,” the Instagram account Until Freedom wrote above a video of Ma’Khia doing her hair and posing for the camera. The clip has been viewed more than 126,000 times.
Another video, posted on Twitter, shows Ma’Khia dancing and smiling with colorful butterfly clips in her hair.
“Look at the art. Look at this black girl magic. Look at her joy!” a Twitter user wrote above the video. “Look at that smile and that face. What a beauty. What a baby. Ma’Khia Bryant was just 16 years old.”
That video has been viewed more than 325,000 times.
On Tuesday, police in Columbus, Ohio, fatally shot Ma’Khia while responding to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
The Columbus Division of Police has released a short clip of the moment an officer shot Ma’Khia during a hectic altercation with several other people.
But as the week progresses, it’s becoming possible that videos of Ma’Khia while she was still alive could eclipse the gruesome footage of her final moments.
“Watched a few of Ma’Khia Bryant’s TikTok videos,” one Twitter user wrote. “She was a child full of life and possibility. She was murdered by the police and it is devastating.”
“#makhiabryant deserved to be alive and happy with her family,” read the caption to another Twitter video.
News of the death of the teenager, who was Black, broke just as former police officer Derek Chauvin was being convicted of George Floyd’s murder. The bitter irony of that timing was not lost on Ohio’s senior senator, Sherrod Brown.
“While the verdict was being read in the Derek Chauvin trial, Columbus police shot and killed a sixteen-year-old girl,” Senator Brown tweeted. “Her name was Ma’Khia Bryant. She should be alive right now.”