LeBron James deletes tweet targeting officer who shot Ma'Khia Bryant

LeBron James has deleted a tweet he posted Tuesday night in reaction to the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant.

The tweet in question featured a picture of Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon, who shot the 16-year-old Bryant while responding to a 911 call on Tuesday. The tweet read "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY" and included an hourglass emoji:

The tweet likely refers to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of three charges, including second-degree murder. James posted a tweet that simply read "ACCOUNTABILITY" after the verdict, and appeared to be calling for the Columbus officer to receive similar consequences.

James said tweet was used to 'create more hate'

James' tweet received a vocal backlash from conservative circles on social media, where debate has raged about the shooting of Bryant. While details were limited as protesters gathered at Columbus police headquarters, officials have since released bodycam footage showing Bryant appearing to attack a young woman with a knife as she was shot.

Among those criticizing James online was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who called James' tweet "dangerous and disgraceful."

A day after posting the tweet, James said he deleted it because it was "being used to create more hate" and called for more accountability in the criminal justice system.

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

James also posted a tweet appearing to say he had been tweeting out of anger and should have gathered all the facts, but remains sympathetic to Bryant and her family.

ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail! ??✊???

— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021

James has been out for the Lakers since mid-March with a high ankle sprain, but was recently reported to have progressed to light work on the court with his rehab.

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