COLUMBUS (WCMH) — LeBron James is explaining why he posted, and then deleted, a tweet about the Columbus police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.
James, the NBA star and Akron native, tweeted a photo Wednesday afternoon that showed a Columbus police officer moments after the shooting of Bryant by Nicholas Reardon.
“YOU’RE NEXT,” James wrote with the hashtag “accountability,” in reference to the guilty verdict Tuesday for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death last year of George Floyd.
The image came from a bystander’s video, and it is unclear whether it was Reardon being shown.
But James later deleted the tweet, saying it’s “being used to create more hate.”
“This isn’t about one officer,” James wrote in a follow-up post. “It’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
James continued: “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!”
Bryant was shot Tuesday, coincidentally just moments before the Chauvin verdict was read. Body camera footage from Reardon and other officers who responded to Legion Lane on Columbus’ southeast side show her swinging a knife at two other girls. Reardon shouted “get down” several times before firing, just seconds after getting out of his police cruiser.