LeBron James deletes tweet about Columbus officer who shot teen, National FOP responds

Race in America

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets as part of 2019 NBA Global Games China at Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 10, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (NewsNation Now) — The National Fraternal Order of Police responded to a now-deleted social media post by LeBron James in reaction to the officer-involved shooting in Columbus. The NBA star later explained the tweet was “being used to create more hate” as a reason for deleting.

On Wednesday, James tweeted a photo of the officer involved in the shooting with a caption reading “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.” The tweet has since been deleted.

James was reacting to the deadly police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

Hours later, the National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted a photo of James’ original tweet, saying:

“.@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.”

After deleting the post later Wednesday, James shared his reasoning.

“This isn’t about one officer,” he said. “It’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”

Bryant was shot and killed by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday evening. Police responded to the scene after a caller told 911 dispatchers someone was trying to stab her. It is not known who made that call.

Video from body-worn cameras shows the teen, armed with a knife, try to stab two others, according to police. The officer can be heard yelling, “Get down,” repeatedly before firing four shots. Officials say they do not have the information right now to determine what would have happened if the officer had not fired those shots.

This incident remains under investigation.

NewsNation affiliate WJW-TV and reporter Darcie Loreno contributed to this report.

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