On Wednesday afternoon, LeBron James, the outspoken basketball player on the LA Lakers, tweeted quite the alarming message about Officer Nicholas Reardon, the police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. As Julio reported, police bodycam footage shows Bryant wielding a knife to threaten another girl. As of 4:45 pm, it appears the tweet has been deleted, about an hour after it had been up.
"YOU'RE NEXT" the tweet read, with an hourglass emoji, along with "#ACCOUNTABILITY." A picture of Reardon is included.
I’d say it’d be great if the Officer sued Lebron James for millions, but who are we kidding, our corrupt system would just side with Lebron. https://t.co/r76mJ3Xlbl— The Columbia Bugle ???? (@ColumbiaBugle) April 21, 2021
Deleted pic.twitter.com/Xqoasasev4— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 21, 2021
James' tweet came not long after Reardon was identified as the officer involved. Understandably, that James is using his massive platform in such a way has disturbed many users.
I had to look three times to confirm that LeBron James tweet is real.— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) April 21, 2021
We’re in dangerous territory, America.
LeBron James has joined the pile on against the Columbus police officer who shot & killed a teen girl just as she was about to stab another girl with a knife. https://t.co/K7avRsI29j— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) April 21, 2021
LeBron James going after the cop who saved a girl from getting stabbed https://t.co/W6alv5zT2T— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 21, 2021
LeBron James is a race-baiting buffoon. He just used a lie to endanger a police officer, a hero who saved a woman's life.— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) April 21, 2021
He is a coward and so are all of his defenders. https://t.co/dOjm1eKAAG
LeBron James is now sharing a picture of the Columbus police officer who shot the woman wielding a knife and attacking another woman.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 21, 2021
With zero regard for facts, he’s solely focused on dividing the country. Total scumbag. https://t.co/Ymxk3xeEJs
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called on Twitter and the NBA to take notice.
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
KIRO 7 Local News reported that Ohio Public Safety Director Ned Pettus has urged patience, acknowledging that Bryant's death is "a horrendous tragedy," but also pointed out the video shows that there’s more to this. "It requires us to pause, take a look at the sequence of events, and though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as determined by an independent investigation."
James had certainly done anything but.
He has been particularly outspoken about race, with his strong support for Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, he has also used his platform to publicly condemn Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for speaking up in support of the people of Hong Kong longing for democracy.