In the four months since 36-year-old Krieg A. Butler Sr. fatally shot Sinzae Reed in the back, Megan Reed still demands justice for her 13-year-old son while his killer walks free.
You can’t reform police and prosecutors who think a Black boy playing outside is not just a crime but a death sentence. Reed told WSOU that Columbus, Ohio officials gave her no information and didn’t even notify her about the killer returning to her community.
Watch Whiteness work! The same day police arrested Butler, prosecutors charged him with murder and held him on a $1 million bond. All this white man had to do was say “self-defense,” and he seemed to have an instant “get out of jail free card.” The Franklin County DA filed to drop the murder charges against him within a week.
Columbus PD stonewalled Reed instead of protecting the community from a killer
While Butler returned to his life as a criminal already convicted of domestic abuse, Reed had to bury her child. If neighbors didn’t warn her as she shopped for Sinzae’s funeral, Reed never would have known that Butler was free again.
“They should have called and told me because we’re in the same neighborhood. But then all they said was like, ‘We’re sorry, like, you didn’t have a caseworker yet,’ or whatever. But sorry, doesn’t work,” Reed said.
“Because that could have been me and my other kids’ lives. That don’t work for me. Y’all have a job to do. They still should have called me and informed me that he was out.”
Prosecutors refused to comment on the case except to say it remains under review. Reed and the rest of the community remain in danger while authorities “review.” She says detectives haven’t contacted her since October.
“I really get no information. So we had to really go out and protest at the court building, then I spoke to the prosecutor,” Reed said.
“So they let him out because they’re waiting for an autopsy to come back to present to the grand jury.”
A law against owning firearms after a domestic violence conviction didn’t stop Butler from getting his hands on one to kill a child in cold blood. And an eviction from the apartment building didn’t stop him from returning to the neighborhood where Reed’s family still lives.
In addition to probation for domestic violence at the time of the shooting, Butler has an extensive rap sheet. His other convictions include theft, multiple counts of driving with a suspended license, and “committing a misdemeanor against a companion animal.”
The investigation into Sinzae’s murder continues
Columbus PD claims they still need forensic and ballistic evidence to proceed with the open case.
“He was arrested, the suspect was arrested. There was a subsequent meeting with the prosecutor’s office and there was a self-defense claim that came up. And, based on the information that was given, they made the determination at that time not to pursue the charges, but the case is not closed by any means,” said Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant.
It’s curious that Columbus cops can release an admitted child killer and convicted abuser on the strength of “information given.” However, they couldn’t detain or charge him based on illegal firearm possession, fleeing the scene, or witness statements. Common sense didn’t raise suspicion that a grown man would need four bullets to defend himself from a seventh-grader?
According to Reed, a woman told her that Butler “came out with a ski mask and started shooting. And Sinzae didn’t know what was coming.”