The guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in the killing of George Floyd elicited a one-word response from LeBron James on Twitter:
James took to the app again Wednesday to explain why he deleted a tweet regarding the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Black girl Ma’Khia Bryant on Tuesday in his home state of Ohio.
The Los Angeles Lakers star had tweeted “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” with an hourglass emoji, accompanied by a photo of a police officer. According to ESPN, the photo was of Columbus (Ohio) police officer Nicholas Reardon, who was identified Wednesday as the officer who fired the shots that killed Bryant while responding to a call.
James later removed the original post.
“ANGER (doesn’t do) any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though!” James tweeted. “My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. 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.”
Body camera footage released by police apparently shows the teenager holding a knife. In one of two 911 calls played at a news conference Wednesday, screaming could be heard as a caller reported a girl trying to stab the individual before the call disconnected.
Officers responded to the scene and reported the shooting at 4:45 p.m. — roughly 20 minutes before a jury handed down its verdict toward Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of murder and manslaughter charges.
Reardon has been placed on leave.
Contributing: Mark Ferenchik, Christine Fernando, Bethany Bruner, USA TODAY Network; The Associated Press
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.