LeBron James Demands Justice For Breonna Taylor In Stirring Post-Game Speech
In a passionate post-game press conference, LeBron James discussed Black Lives Matter and demanded justice for Breonna Taylor.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency room technician, was shot dead on March 13 after narcotics detectives knocked down her door and shot her eight times as part of a ‘no-knock’ raid – no drugs were found. Only one officer involved in the raid, ex-Detective Brett Hankison, has been fired.
Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ exhibition against the Dallas Mavericks, James echoed protesters’ calls for charges to be brought against Hankinson, Sgt. John Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove.
You can check out a clip of James’ interview below:
The 35-year-old told reporters: ‘As one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know, and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for her and we want justice. That’s what it’s all about. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.’
James went on to say he’s never been afraid to speak out about things he considers himself to be knowledgeable about, ‘have insight on and be up to speed on’, whether it be the deaths of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd or Taylor.
He added: ‘It’s fortunate that we had the George Floyd video to see it. I mean, is that what we need… to see a video of Breonna being killed for people to realise how bad the situation is?’
James also referenced the recent incident in a Walmart in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, when Stanley Gracius was tasered and arrested by officers after buying a bike, constantly screaming out: ‘I have a receipt.’ The Lakers player said: ‘It’s just heartbreaking, man… you can never truly understand what it’s like to be black in America.’
James went on to criticise the description of Black Lives Matter as a ‘movement’, explaining:
When you’re Black, it’s not a movement, it’s a lifestyle. We sit here and say it’s a movement… this is a walk of life, when you wake up and you’re Black, that’s what it is.
Teammate Kyle Kuzma took to Twitter following the conference to urge the media to ask more pressing questions, writing: ‘We have platforms but help us out! Yes we know your job is to ask us about basketball questions. But if you guys believe in equality for all, let’s ask a few social injustice questions here n there. We’re all in this together.’
Lakers guard Alex Caruso also told reporters: ‘We need justice for Breonna Taylor. That’s going to be my response to the rest of the questions if they’re basketball-related and not pertaining to me and my sister’s wedding.’
As per BBC News, a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family has put forward accusations of battery, wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence. ‘We also look forward to these officers being prosecuted for their roles in her untimely death,’ it notes.
You can watch James’ full post-game interview here.
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