NBA star LeBron James called for the Ohio cop who shot dead 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant to be held accountable for his actions in a now-deleted tweet on Wednesday
Bryant, a black teenager, was killed by a white Columbus police officer on Tuesday while charging at two people with a knife, sparking more outrage over the continued use of lethal force by cops just moments after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty on murder and manslaughter charges over the death of George Floyd.
In response to Bryant’s death, James, who is consistently outspoken about social justice issues, tweeted: ‘You’re next. #ACCOUNTABILITY.’
And while the three simple words appeared to indicate that justice would be coming for the white officer in the form of jail time just like it did for Chauvin, some took it as the Lakers star ‘inciting’ violence.
Arkansas Sen Tom Cotton was one of the first to call James out, tweeting: ‘Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer. This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?’
‘People like LeBron James and his friends on the left are driving good people away from careers in law enforcement. This is the exact OPPOSITE of how to improve policing,’ Ohio Rep Mike Loychik.
Another person wrote: ‘I did not have Lebron threatening a cop for saving a girl’s life on my Bingo Card. Did anyone?’
Several others defended James with some slamming those who tried to ‘publicly crucify’ the basketball star.
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In response to Bryant’s death, James, who is consistently outspoken about social justice issues, tweeted: ‘You’re next. #ACCOUNTABILITY’
And while the two simple words appeared to indicate that justice would be coming for the white officer in the form of jail time just like it did for Chauvin, some took it as the Lakers star ‘inciting’ violence
Several others defended James with some slamming those who tried to ‘publicly crucify’ the basketball star
‘A cop just killed a little girl and y’all are more concerned about Lebron James tweeted that the cop is next to take accountability???? GET REAL,’ one person shared.
Another wrote: ‘I don’t understand why y’all tryna publicly crucify LeBron James for a now deleted tweet that was TOTALLY take out of context. I’m convinced that y’all LOOK FOR any little mistake to “cancel” a person’s entire career.’
The backlash prompted James to delete the tweet a short time later.
His remarks came after officials with the Columbus Division of Police released footage of the shooting of Bryant just hours after it happened, a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings that have led to clashes.
The girl was identified by Franklin County Children Services, which said in a release that Bryant was under the care of the agency at the time of her death.
The 10-second clip begins with the officer getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference.
The officer takes a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when Bryant starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down.
Bryant then charges at another girl or woman, who is pinned against a car.
From a few feet away, with people on either side of him, the officer fires four shots, and Bryant slumps to the ground.
A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife or steak knife lies on the sidewalk next to her.