Basketball superstar LeBron James has received a mixed response after he posted and then later deleted a tweet about the police officer involved in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio.
Bodycam footage released on Wednesday revealed that Nicholas Reardon approached Ma’Khia Bryant after being called to a house where there were reports of someone being physically threatened with a knife.
In the footage, Bryant can be seen wielding a knife at another woman. Reardon shouts several times for Bryant to back down but ends up firing four shots at Bryant after she lunges for another woman near the car.
Bryant was then taken to a hospital but was later pronounced dead. Police did not disclose whether anyone else was injured during the incident.
In response to this, James shared a picture of Reardon complete with the caption: ‘You’re next #accountability’ as well as an hourglass emoji.
James, who is from Akron, Ohio around 125 miles northeast of Columbus, later deleted the tweet after it began attracting a lot of derision and criticism of the LA Lakers player, mostly from US conservative figures.
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA… https://t.co/aVpt0YQYe0
James later explained why he posted and then deleted the tweet. The 36-year-old expressed his anger but explained that the tweet was being used to create more hatred and that he is simply ‘desperate for more accountability.’
ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger… https://t.co/NkW6ZGJSN6
Valarie Jarrett, a former aide of Barack Obama claimed that Reardon shot Bryant “in order to break up a knife fight.”
The footage of the Bryant shooting was released just hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year
In regards to the Chauvin verdict Anthony Davis, James’ teammate at the Lakers added: “I think a lot of people in the world are happy with the verdict and just being able to give that family peace, [and] a peace of mind. I think that it was a first step for justice. I think it was a good day, just for the world, to be able to get justice, because you see so many times where it doesn’t happen.”