LeBron deletes tweet saying Columbus police officer is ‘next’ after Chauvin
Basketball star LeBron James deleted a Wednesday tweet that called for accountability in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Ohio girl after receiving backlash for telling the police officer involved that “YOU’RE NEXT” following the conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
“YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” the Los Angeles Laker wrote along with a photo of Nicholas Reardon, who has been identified as the Columbus police officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant.
James deleted the tweet shortly after it began to draw criticism, including from at least two Republican lawmakers.
LeBron deleted it pic.twitter.com/iJil2ohGkn
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 21, 2021
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) slammed the tweet, arguing that the NBA star was inciting violence against Reardon.
“This is disgraceful and dangerous,” he wrote Wednesday. “Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?”
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
“People like LeBron James and his friends on the left are driving good people away from careers in law enforcement,” said state Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Ohio).
People like LeBron James and his friends on the left are driving good people away from careers in law enforcement.
This is the exact OPPOSITE of how to improve policing.
— Representative Mike Loychik (@MikeLoychik) April 21, 2021
Bryant was shot around the same time the Chauvin verdict was announced on Wednesday.
Recently released body camera footage of the incident shows Reardon approaching the scene of the fight she was involved in.
Shortly after Reardon arrives, Bryant is stuck by a bullet after wielding a knife at another person involved in the altercation. Bryant was given medical attention at the scene but later died as a result of her injuries.
James has become a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement in the past year, often making statements calling for justice in the cases of those killed by law enforcement, including Breonna Taylor.