Ma’Khia Bryant’s Story Is Too Familiar

Ma’Khia Bryant’s Story Is Too Familiar

By WNYC Studios

Notes from America

Thursday, 13 May

We failed her long before the cops killed her. We’re failing thousands more children like her now. In this bonus episode, we meet one of those girls.

Girls often land in detention because they have experienced some form of trauma: abusive families, bad experiences in the foster care system, and especially sexual abuse.

Desiree is a young woman who has bounced between foster care, detention centers, and residential treatment centers since she was 10. Even though she has been the repeated victim of abuse, she says she's been made to feel like she's the problem...and she's angry about it. But she has her own ideas about how to make things better and she’s making her voice heard.”

This episode was initially released as part of the podcast Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice. Caught was supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Find the whole series at

Companion listening for this episode:

Revisiting Caught: ‘I Just Want You to Come Home’” (7/30/20)

Episode one of our podcast Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice. 

Do We Need the Police at All” (4/26/21)

The answer isn’t simple, but it’s time to ask. Listeners weigh in with stories of their own efforts to solve problems with and without cops.

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 

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