LOS ANGELES cop Deon Joseph said that NBA star LeBron James didn’t respond to his invitation to meet and discuss challenges that on duty officers face.
“It would be disappointing [if James doesn’t respond to the invitation] but if it inspires people to start talking again, then that's good with me,” he told Fox News Host Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
Joseph said that if he doesn't hear back from LeBron he is "not going to lose any love for him [because] the work he does for children and charities is incredible."
The LAPD officer spoke about the challenges he faced while on duty.
He said that there were four times in his 25-year career where he almost had to use deadly force on someone.
“I didn't sleep for two days and one of those instances, I was this close to shooting a young man to save other people,” said Joseph.
Joseph told Fox News that James is a “victim” who has been “gaslit” into thinking that the police “hate black people.”
“I was LeBron James before I became a police officer,” he said. “Being young and African American growing up in the late 80s and 90s, which were very violent and turbulent times, I thought that the police were basically our natural enemy.”
He added that he didn’t want to be a police officer and that it was a given that “if you're African American, you have to hate the police.”
But after the Rodney King riots in 1992 that destroyed his family’s business, Joseph had no option but to join the police force with the limited opportunities at the time.
Joseph recently slammed James for "putting a target on the back" of the officer who shot dead 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant.
Deon Joseph shared an open letter to the NBA star in the wake of his controversial tweet when he tweeted an image of Ohio cop Nicholas Reardon along with the caption: "You're next. #ACCOUNTABILITY."
“That officer could've been me,” Joseph told Fox News.
In a lengthy Facebook post uploaded on Sunday, Joseph criticized James' anti-cop stance as being "so off base and extreme".
While praising the 36-year-old Lakers player's "huge heart" for his work with children and "other acts of charity", the disgruntled cop condemned his lack of understanding of law enforcement as "irresponsible and disturbing."
"You basically put a target on the back of a human being who had to make a split second decision to save a life from a deadly attack.
"A decision I know he and many others wish they never had to make. Especially when it involves someone so young," Joseph continued.
"Instead of apologizing, you deflected. You said you took your tweet down because you did not want it to be used for hate, when the tweet itself was the embodiment of hatred, rooted in a lack of understanding of the danger of the situation."
Ma'Khia Bryant was fatally shot by officer Reardon on April 20, just moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd.
Amid a wave of outrage, James took to Twitter to vent his anger and shared the since-deleted tweet with his 49.6 million followers.
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