A backlash was brewing Wednesday against the “you’re next” tweet that Los Angeles Lakers star/Black Lives Matter activist LeBron James aimed at the officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant on Tuesday.
The National Fraternal Order of Police called the threatening tweet an irresponsible rush to judgment against an officer who may have saved a Black person’s life in the shooting.
“@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in,” the organization tweeted. “This is disgraceful & extremely reckless.”
A body-camera image released by the Columbus Division of Police shows Ms. Bryant, moments before the shooting, wielding a knife and seemingly ready to strike another woman up against a car.
The police union noted that Mr. Reardon may have saved another Black girl from serious injury or death with his split-second decision.
“The officer saved a young girl’s life,” the order tweeted. “No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther concurred.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Mr. Ginther told reporters.
James deleted the “you’re next” tweet — an apparent reference to the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial — for his nearly 50 million Twitter followers as it began to go viral.
.@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless.— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) April 21, 2021
The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact. pic.twitter.com/GTHn1VAAlf
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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