Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz said Lebron James “you’re next” tweet towards one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of an Ohio teenager was “grossly irresponsible.”
Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown announced that “while the verdict was being read in the Derek Chauvin trial, Columbus police shot and killed a sixteen-year-old girl. Her name was Ma’Khia Bryant. She should be alive right now.”
The LA Lakers star then tweeted a photo of the officer with the caption “YOU’RE NEXT” alongside an hourglass emoji and the hashtag #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
Cruz took to Fox News Primetime to call out the NBA superstar for his since deleted tweet.
LeBron James has now deleted the tweet calling for the cop to be arrested for shooting the woman armed with a knife, but don’t worry. The internet is forever.
I blurred out the officer’s face on purpose. pic.twitter.com/dbv5dPrZ87
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) April 21, 2021
“The left consistently goes after, attacks and demonizes police officers … often before the facts are known, often before there is any evidence of what happened, but their immediate reaction, whenever there is an incident, is that police officers is in the wrong,” Cruz commented. “And in this instance, ‘you’re next’ could certainly be interpreted by some, even, as a call for violence. I think it was a grossly irresponsible message for LeBron James to send out.”
He highlighted the fact that James ignored the body camera footage that showed the victim attacking a woman with a knife. “By any measure, it was a volatile situation. The woman who was killed was wielding a knife, was violent, appeared to be threatening the [lives] of others,” Cruz remarked. “It may well be, on an investigation, that this police officer saved the life of a potential victim of a knife attack and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.”
Despite erasing the inflammatory tweet, James doubled down on his messaging. “ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” He wrote. “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,” he followed up. Explaining that he had removed the prior post because it was being “used to create 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. 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