NBA star Lebron James posted, then deleted, a tweet which appeared to threaten the cop who fatally shot sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant.
Officer Nicolas Reardon killed Bryant as she attacked another girl while holding a knife on Tuesday.
🔵 Read our Ma'Khia Bryant shooting live blog for the latest updates
What did Lebron James say in his tweet?
NBA star LeBron tweeted out a picture of the Ohio cop along with the caption: "You're next. #ACCOUNTABILITY."
The tweet, which was posted on Thursday 22 April, the day after Bryant’s death, was deleted soon after.
The LA Lakers player later hit back at criticism of his tweet and explained why he deleted the post.
Bryant was shot dead by officer Nicholas Reardon in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, 20 April, moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minnesota.
Just one day after the fatal shooting, a group of between 200 and 250 activists marched through the streets of Columbus, chanting "black lives matter" and "say her name".
Beginning at 9:30pm, the group marched down Marconi Boulevard past the Ohio Supreme Court.
Earlier Wednesday, protests and a vigil were also staged across the city, with groups gathering to pray for the Bryant family.
A 16-minute silence was held during the vigil to remember the teen, with each minute representing one year of Bryant's life.
What has Lebron James said since?
Lebron continued to post about Bryant’s death on Twitter after taking down the image and accompanying tweet.
He wrote: “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!”
He followed this on with another tweet, which said: “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.”
“I took the tweet down because it’s 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.”
The basketball star's original inflammatory post about Reardon was blasted by Twitter users.
Arkansas Sen Tom Cotton called out the sportsman, posting: "Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
"This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?"
Ohio Rep Mike Loychik tweeted: "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."
Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra wrote: "On behalf of pro athletes, current and former, I apologize for how #LeBronJames just showed his inner Maxine Waters and made a very real, ongoing threat to the life of the officer who quickly acted to prevent a knife attack from becoming worse.
"Many of us appreciate what LEOs do!"
However, some people defended LeBron.
One wrote: "A cop just killed a little girl and y'all are more concerned about Lebron James tweeted that the cop is next to take accountability???? GET REAL."
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