Black Lives Matter

A mother wants to know why charges were dropped just a week after a white suspect allegedly shot and killed her Black son.

On Oct. 12, 36-year-old Krieg A. Butler Sr., faced murder charges for killing Sinzae Reed, 13, in Columbus, Ohio. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Franklin County prosecutors dismissed the case in municipal court the following week on Oct. 19. “There has been a claim of self-defense,” Keith O’Connor, a local homicide detective, said when prosecutors dismissed the case.

Megan Reed, the mother of the victim, continues to seek justice. Yesterday (Dec. 29), she spoke to the North Carolina Beat about Butler’s self-defense claim. Megan wants to know what reason is plausible for him to walk free. “It has been almost three months, and I haven’t spoken to anybody about this investigation,” she said. “I haven’t even spoken to the detective. They are all on his side, Kreig is a white man, and a detective is a white man too,” Megan continued.

The mother said her son’s fatal shooting occurred after a conversation in their kitchen. After their talk, Sinzae’s mother thought her son returned to his room. That’s when a neighbor knocked on her door, informing her that her son had been shot. “I didn’t even know he had [gone] outside. Until the knock at my door telling me he had been shot,” she explained.

After discovering the news, she went to the scene and found her son lying in blood from gunshot wounds. She mentioned that a witness said Butler Sr. committed the crime. “Soon as I got over there, everybody was like, ‘Kreig did this, Kreig did this,’” Megan recalled.

According to court documents obtained by The Dispatch, a witness told police that they saw Butler get out of a red truck, shoot Reed numerous times, get back in his vehicle, and drive off the scene. The next day, authorities arrested Butler. In October, prosecuting Attorney Gary Tyack said the 13-year-old’s death was still being investigated and that these kinds of cases don’t regularly make it to a grand jury.

“Not every case initiated in municipal court is presented to the grand jury,” the press release read. “This particular case is still under review for possible presentation to the grand jury, and unfortunately, I cannot advise you when the case will be presented,” the attorney’s statement continued. Yesterday, the victim’s sister, Makayla Nichols, discussed the situation. She told The Dispatch, “A grown man killed a child and nobody cares. We want to know why he’s free.”