JACKSONVILLE, FL – Numerous pundits, outlets, and commentators have levied a fair amount of criticism toward a now-deleted Twitter post made by LeBron James referencing the officer involved in the fatal shooting of an allegedly armed and combative juvenile in Columbus, Ohio.
James’ Twitter post shared a picture of the officer at the scene of the incident, with the words “You’re Next” captioned above the image of the officer.
Following the deletion of the original post, James addressed the outrage that was caused by him sharing the image of the officer with the ambiguous caption, providing a follow up tweet that read:
“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. [I]t’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
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
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
The Jacksonville, Florida Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5-30 was among those critical of James’s now-deleted Twitter post and offered the following take on James’ attempt to justify why he originally made the post:
“This is what it looks like when you neither have the courage of your convictions nor the courage to admit you were wrong.
If you think you’re sick of it LeBron James imagine what it must feel like for the human being behind the trigger forced to respond with deadly force.
Imagine what that sinking feeling in the stomach feels like in that split second you realize you’ve run out of options.
Imagine the moments after when you immediately start your path to PTSD, which begins with the second guessing of your own actions; because you know that the actions you just took will be second guessed by everyone – from your department admin, to your state attorney, to the FBI, and whatever entitled millionaire feels like tweeting about it; and despite knowing you did what was just, you had better have been better than perfect.
Can you even begin to imagine how tired you might feel then?”
The Jacksonville FOP then went on to highlight some of the real world issues associated with the stressors of policing, as well as the resiliency law enforcement officers showcase against said stressors:
“Our profession experiences one of the highest rates of addiction, divorce, suicide because on any given day our eyes are susceptible to see more than our psyche can handle but by all means, with all of your experience, please tell us your opinion.
We do an amazing job in the worst neighborhoods every single day.
Over a billion police contacts with citizens annually handled flawlessly around the nation and you chose the wrong one that demonstrates your ignorance in an almost unfathomable fashion to weigh in on.
At least admit you were wrong and apologize to the human being whose back you placed a target.
Imagine how tired that officer must feel knowing he was put in an unwinnable situation and how tired he will be for the rest of his life wondering why someone else wasn’t in his shoes.
Imagine how tired he was knowing that there are people like you who judged him, not by the content of his character, but the color of his skin.”
The final point made within the Jacksonville FOP’ post pointed out that by the time police officers get involved in a situation, chances are there have been a lot of failures enacted by culpable/present parties where those factors of “accountability” are hardly examined in the court of public opinion:
“Forgive us if we feel like accountability starts long before we arrive at the scene.
Maybe instead of playing Monday Morning Point Guard in situations where you are clearly ill equipped to address you can help identify the root causes of why these confrontations exist and address those because our involvement in nearly any situation is usually the last piece of many failures that didn’t involve us.
Well, in summary “King James” at least this time you didn’t just fail your teammates in a game that will ultimately be forgotten by the next season…you failed us all in a way many can never forget. How’s that for accountability?”
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We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on the officer-involved shooting that occurred in Ohio on April 20th.
Here’s that previous report.
COLUMBUS, OH – Protesters took to the streets of Columbus Tuesday night following the release of police body camera footage showing the shooting of a 15-year-old girl by a Columbus police officer earlier in the day.
The teen was shot as she attacked two other girls with a knife.
Shortly before the verdict came down in the Derek Chauvin trial, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, after police responded to a call about someone armed with a knife, officials say. https://t.co/BiQWMpVrtp
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) April 21, 2021
Police with the Columbus Division of Police released a portion of the video just hours after the incident. Police had hoped the video would ease tensions following a series of high-profile police shootings.
Officials were also concerned about the timing of the shooting, minutes after the guilty verdict was released in the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
Police released body cam video that shows the 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio appear to lunge at another teen with a knife before being shot by police. https://t.co/avPLJCidwB
— National File (@NationalFile) April 21, 2021
The 10-second video clip shows the officer exiting the police vehicle at a house after police received a 911 call reporting a person had been threatened with a knife around 4:45 p.m.
A group of people can be seen in a driveway as the officer begins to move toward them. As he steps toward the group, a black female, later identified as Ma’Khia Bryant, can be seen swinging a knife at another female, who falls backward.
Police in Columbus, Ohio, fatally shoot teen girl who was swinging knife at 2 other people, video shows https://t.co/nkZbpCG3zf
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 21, 2021
The officer ordered the armed teen to “get down” several times. Bryant refused to comply with the officer and charged another female pinned against a car.
As Bryant begins to swing the knife at the pinned female, the officer fires his pistol four times. Bryant was struck by at least one shot and falls to the sidewalk. A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife lies on the sidewalk next to her.
Body-camera video appears to show a fight when the officer arrives. Two women or girls are in a confrontation, and one falls to the ground in front of the officer. https://t.co/u5gK21D3HQ
— Tavares Jones (@tavareskjones) April 21, 2021
A man immediately shouts at the officer:
“You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”
The officer answered back that she was attacking the other girl with a knife:
“She had a knife. She just went at her.”
Columbus Fire medics arrived on the scene to render aid at 4:46 p.m. and transported Bryant to Mount Carmel East hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m., police said.
Ohio police fatally shoot Black teen swinging knife https://t.co/MGNYlNlmZG
— KTAB News (@KTABTV) April 21, 2021
Despite Bryant being armed and attacking other teens at the time of the shooting, protesters took to the streets Tuesday evening carrying Black Lives Matter signs, megaphones, and a loudspeaker. About 50 protesters had gathered behind crime scene tape at 8:30 p.m., approximately a half-mile from the scene of the shooting.
K.C. Taynor shouted through a megaphone:
“We don’t get to celebrate nothing…In the end, you know what, you can’t be black.”
Video: Protests Break Out In Ohio After Police Fatally Shoot Black Teenage Girl https://t.co/PlHCb7SN2u
— Heal the Planet ✌✌🎸🎸 (@fwtoney) April 21, 2021
Another protester brought an amplifier and microphone to the scene and called for violence against police officers:
“There should be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Is this what we’re coming to in America? God, damn. We’re not going to sit here and just sit around while you shoot and kill us, then go back to the suburbs.
“They shoot us, we shoot them. You shoot us, we shoot you.”
Another protester shouted:
“We patrol our own community. Somebody reaches out for help, we come.”
Video from Legion Lane: pic.twitter.com/bdEdl0BUDo
— Marc Kovac (@ohiocapitalblog) April 21, 2021
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said the video was released quickly for transparency:
“It’s a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It’s a horrible, heartbreaking situation. We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time, was critical.
“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.”
Body Cam Video Shows Officer Shoot, Kill Teenage Girl In Ohio
Columbus Mayor: "We know from this footage that the officer took action to protect another young girl."
Police Chief: "a caller said a female was there trying to stab them"https://t.co/hFp7WBah57 @cbschicago
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) April 21, 2021
Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods said at a press conference that police are permitted to use deadly force to protect themselves or others.
“The information was that a caller said a female was there trying to stab them and put their hands on them. Medics were called right away”
He added that Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now reviewing the killing following an agreement with the city last summer for all police shootings to be handled by independent investigators under Attorney General Dave Yost’s office.
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