COLUMBUS, Ohio — After LeBron James posted a polarizing tweet calling for "accountability" for the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old who was shot and killed by a Columbus Police officer on Tuesday, the National Fraternal Order of Police has issued a response.
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"@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in," the National Fraternal Order of Police posted from its Twitter account on Wednesday night. "This is disgraceful & extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl's life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact."
James' tweet, which he has since deleted, read "YOU'RE NEXT #Accountability," along with an hourglass emoji and a picture of Nicholas Reardon, the officer who shot and killed Bryant. One day earlier, James had tweeted "ACCOUNTABILITY" after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.
Bodycam footage from the incident in Columbus -- which occurred shortly before the Chauvin verdict was announced on Tuesday -- shows that Reardon shot Bryant four times as she was swinging a knife at another girl during an altercation. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is currently investigating the shooting.
Later on Wednesday night, James posted an explanation for why he deleted his initial post.
"I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police," he wrote. "I took the tweet down because [its] 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."