Basketball player LeBron James posted and subsequently deleted a tweet on Wednesday about the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, by a police officer. He later tried to explain why he deleted the tweet.
James’ actions on social media prompted backlash from conservatives, who brought up his previous Twitter controversy over tweets defending the Chinese government.
In the since-deleted tweet by the Los Angeles Lakers star was a picture of Columbus Officer Nicholas Reardon along with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” and an hourglass emoji, according to ESPN.
In the body camera footage released by the Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday, Bryant—after numerous warnings from the officer, identified Wednesday as Reardon, to “get down”—could be seen trying to stab another person with a knife before being shot by Reardon.
Bryant was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Police did not say if anybody else was hurt.
The shooting happened on Tuesday, after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
On Wednesday evening, James explained why he deleted his earlier post about Reardon, saying it was “being used to create more hate”.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” wrote James. “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!”
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James continued in a separate post. “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”
Conservatives were quick to bring up the NBA star’s previous controversy regarding his defense of China, who’s authoritarian regime has been putting Uighur Muslims in internment camps, as well as clamping down on democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.
As The Daily Caller brought up, in October 2019, James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Dayl Morey for tweeting support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, igniting a firestorm for the NBA. All of the NBA’s official partner companies in China suspended their relationships with the league and China stopped broadcasting NBA matches. It was not until October 2020 that the country started broadcasting NBA games again.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
Border Patrol Council President concerned over ‘influx’ of military-aged Chinese men crossing the southern border
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data Border Patrol agents detained over 30,000 Chinese individuals for illegally crossing the border from January to November 2023, sparking concern.
Just The News reports that National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd on Wednesday said the United States should be incredibly concerned by the influx of military-aged Chinese men coming across the southern border.
“Why are we seeing this influx?” Judd asked on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “At best, they’re just coming here for a better life or for a better job. At worse, they’re coming here to be part of the Chinese government, and that’s what scares me an awful lot.”
“We know that the Chinese have huge gangs here in the United States, and they control certain parts of our country,” he later said. “They control the drug flow. They control the prostitution. They control everything that’s illegal in certain portions of the country. We have to look into that. It’s very important that we understand why we are having so many people from China, especially military-aged men, from China.”
“I don’t want to cause mass hysteria where United States citizens are violent towards people from China,” Judd said. “However, we have to … allow the intelligence community to do their job. We’ve got to let law enforcement do their job and look into these individuals.”
Many Chinese immigrants are leaving due to economic conditions in China and its strict lockdowns, Yahoo News reported.
“Again, at best, they’re here for a better life,” Judd said. “At worst, they’re here to be part of the Chinese government to infiltrate our own country.”
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