James tweeted and deleted a picture Wednesday afternoon of the police officer who is believed to have fatally shot Bryant, writing “YOURE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
Ma’Khia Bryant, a young Black girl, was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer Tuesday afternoon while yielding a knife and reportedly attempting to stab another female. Bryant’s death has since sparked national outrage.
James, an outspoken advocate for social justice causes, tweeted out a picture Wednesday afternoon of the police officer who is believed to have shot and killed Bryant, writing “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
However, within hours of publishing the controversial comment, James deleted the tweet.
James received nearly 5,000 replies to his tweet while it was still online. Many were debating whether the shooting of Bryant was justified.
In a separate tweet sent out Wednesday evening, the former Cleveland Cavalier explained his reasoning for taking down the statement and photo, saying that the earlier tweet was being used to spread more hate.
“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,” James wrote. “It’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
The deleted message echoed James’ Tuesday night response to the guilty verdict being announced in the Chauvin trial, in which the NBA star simply wrote “ACCOUNTABILITY.”
According to Interim Chief Michael Woods with the Columbus Division of Police, a 9-1-1 caller reported females were trying to stab them, but the call was disconnected before a dispatcher was able to obtain any more information.
Footage released by police Tuesday evening came from the first officer on the scene and appears to show a teen attempting to stab another person with a knife before the officer fires his weapon.
Columbus Police held a press conference Tuesday evening in which they showed bodycam footage from the first officer to arrive on scene. During a press conference Wednesday, Columbus Police again showed the video and images which they say show Bryant’s intent to stab another girl. The case remains under investigation.
You can watch the full briefing in the player below: