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LeBron James Explains Decision To Post Controversial ‘You’re Next’ Cop Tweet

by : Cameron Frew on : 22 Apr 2021 08:54
LeBron James Explains Decision To Post Controversial 'You're Next' Cop TweetPA/LeBron James/Twitter

LeBron James has explained why he posted and later took down his ‘you’re next’ tweet in the wake of a police officer fatally shooting Ma’Khia Bryant.

The 16-year-old teen, from Columbus, Ohio, was shot and killed earlier this week after police attended a 911 call with reports of an attempted stabbing.

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Columbus Police Department’s interim police chief Michael Woods revealed it was officer Nicholas Reardon who fired the shots, who later came to the attention of James in a now-deleted tweet.

After the officer’s identity was announced, the basketball player posted a photo of him captioned: ‘YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.’

While this suggests he should face similar prosecution to Derek Chauvin, whose guilty verdict for the murder of George Floyd was delivered an hour after Ma’Khia died, some believe it was inciting violence against the officer as the incident is being investigated. He’s been ‘taken off the street’ for the time being.

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In response to the backlash, James wrote: ‘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.’

In another tweet, he wrote: ‘ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!’

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Former New York Mets player Lenny Dykstra tweeted: ‘On behalf of pro athletes, current and former, I apologise for how #LeBronJames just showed his inner Maxine Waters and made a very real, ongoing threat to the life of the officer who quickly acted to prevent a knife attack from becoming worse. Many of us appreciate what LEOs do!’

The National Fraternal Order of Police wrote that James should ‘educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful and extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.’

In bodycam footage, Reardon fired his weapon after Ma’Khia appeared to lunge at another person with a knife. However, reporters asked why she wasn’t shot in a less lethal area.

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As per The Independent, Woods said: ‘One of the difficult things with that is we don’t train to shoot the leg because that’s a small target. We train to shoot centre mass to what is available to stop that threat.’

He added: ‘There was a threat going on, a deadly force threat that was going on, so the officer was trained to shoot centre mass – the largest part of a body that is available to them.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, lebron james, Now, Ohio, Police, tweet, Twitter, US

Credits

The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Ma’Khia Bryant: Police defend fatal shooting as officer named as Nicholas Reardon