LeBron James posted, and then deleted, a message on Twitter as people across the country react to the recent police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant. As reported by REVOLT, the 16-year-old was gunned down on Tuesday (April 20) by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio.
James, an Akron, Ohio native; responded to the deadly shooting in a series of tweets. The NBA superstar shared a photo of officer Nicholas Reardon, who was identified as the cop who shot Bryant, and wrote, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
James later deleted the tweet and explained why in a follow-up message.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” he wrote. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened [to] that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”
He added, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it’s being used to create more hate — This isn’t about one officer. It’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
Bryant’s shooting occurred just 20 minutes before ex-officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. So far, the Columbus Police Department has identified officer Reardon as the shooter and said an investigation was launched into the incident, led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Reardon has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe.
Hours after the shooting, police also released part of the body camera footage from the scene. The video showed Bryant wielding a knife against a woman and heard officer Reardon fire at least four fatal shots. Bryant’s aunt, who was a witness to the shooting, maintains that her niece dropped the knife before the officer opened fire.
“I understand the outrage and emotion around this incident,” Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said yesterday (April 21). “A teenage girl is dead and she’s dead at the hands of a police officer. Under any circumstances, that is a horrendous tragedy. But the video shows that there is more to this. It requires us to pause and take a close look at the sequence of events and, though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as determined by an independent investigation.”
See James’ tweets about the shooting below.