During a press conference yesterday (Aug. 24), LeBron James responded to the horrific police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black father who was gunned down by cops in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake is currently recovering from surgery in an intensive care unit. The cops involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.
James initially reacted to the graphic clip of Blake’s shooting on Twitter.
“And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!!. Exactly another black man being targeted,” he wrote. “This sh*t is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”
In the press conference, James expanded on his thoughts and asked why police did not appear to deescalate the situation with Blake.
“We see it over, and over, and over. If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where they could have tackled him,” James said. “They could’ve grabbed him. They could have done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing? And his family’s there; the kids are there. It’s in broad daylight.”
“And if that video was not being taken by someone across the street, do we even know if we’d ever see that video?” he continued. “There’s talks that the cops didn’t even have their body cams on. That’s a possibility.”
James has been a vocal advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and has continued to use his platform to shed light on racial injustices and police brutality. Most recently, he’s demanded justice for Breonna Taylor, Na’Kia Crawford and worked to fight against voter oppression.
“Quite frankly, it’s just fu*ked up,” he said candidly. “I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared — as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified, ‘cause you don’t know. You have no idea how that cop, that day, left the house.”
“You don’t know if he woke up on the good side of the bed; you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed... Maybe he left the house saying, ‘Today is gonna be the end for one of these Black people.’”
“That’s what it feels like. It hurts,” James said emotionally. “And it’s just through the grace of God that he’s still living.”
Watch James’ press conference on Twitter below.