LeBron James has put the officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant in his rhetorical crosshairs with the following message: “You’re next.”
The NBA star and Akron, Ohio, native made the vow Wednesday in a since-deleted tweet to nearly 50 million social media followers trying to make sense of the shooting, which occurred as the knife-wielding teenager appeared to bear down on another woman in Columbus, Ohio, just as the officer arrived on the scene.
A body-camera image released by the Columbus Division of Police shortly after the Tuesday shooting indicates that the Los Angeles Lakers star’s interpretation of events may be objectively wrong.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said at a press conference as online anger over initial reports grows.
The basketball player/BLM activist’s “you’re next” comment for Officer Nicholas Reardon comes less than 24 hours after jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
James explained his deletion later Wednesday evening, saying people were using his words to “create more racism” and “create more hate.”
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY,” he wrote.
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