After weeks of controversy following LeBron James' Ma'Khia Bryant tweet, the basketball star has finally shared his regret...
Now, the incident in question unfolded on April 20th in Columbus, Ohio.
At around 4pm, police officers responded to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.
Upon their arrival, they found a sixteen-year-old girl, who has since been identified as Ma'Khia Bryant, attempting to stab another girl.
After attempting to diffuse the situation, one of the officers opened fire and, despite CPR being performed, Ma'Khia was killed.
Bodycam footage provided by the police shows an altercation with a group of individuals outside a house...
Before one of them - said to be Ma'Khia Bryant - appeared to lunge at another member of the group with a knife in hand.
Then, a police officer approached the group in the driveway and shouted "get down" before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.
The officer can be heard saying in the footage, "She had a knife, she just went at her."
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
Ma'Khia's aunt, Hazel Bryant, told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided.
She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself.
"She was a good kid. She was loving," Hazel Bryant said, "Yeah, she had issues but that's OK. All of us go through sh*t... She didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street."
As soon as the news of Ma'Khai's death broke, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into the events that took place.
Mayor Andrew Ginther told reporters that information will be released as quickly as possible before adding that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
"The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene...
Many holding signs saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there's maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating," Thomas-St. Clair said.
The officer who fired the fatal shot has since been identified as Officer Nicholas Reardon.
Officials say that Officer Reardon, who has been a Columbus police officer since December 2019, has been placed on leave while the incident is investigated.
Of course, opinions on Reardon's actions that day are mixed...
Officer Nicholas Reardon shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant. She was 16 and she only had a knife and was shot 4 times. There’s a lot of people focusing on “what if’s”. The other girls are safe. But Ma’Khia is dead. You cannot justify that.— Destiny Brown (@destinybr0wn) April 22, 2021
With many slamming Officer Reardon for shooting a sixteen-year-old girl and saying that it is yet another example of systematic racism.
But on the other hand, others have applauded Reardon for saving the life of the young girl at risk of being stabbed...
@ColumbusPolice Officer Nicholas Reardon is a hero.— SophiaPv8 (@AfcnViolet) April 21, 2021
He saved a young girl from a knife attack.
Thank you Officer Reardon.
With some even hailing him as a hero.
But regardless of what people think of Officer Reardon's actions, another Black person has lost their lives at the hands of the police force...
I see the conversation around Ma’Khia Bryant dying down, and I get the collective fatigue. But damn, Black girls & women rarely ever get the same kind of outrage.— Bené (@beneviera) April 24, 2021
And people are unbelievably tired of it.
Basketball legend LeBron James is one of those people.
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! 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
LeBron took to Twitter in the wake of Ma'Khia's death to express his sorrow and anger over yet another Black life being lost.
"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!"
But LeBron then seemed to take things a step too far with a follow-up tweet about Officer Reardon...
And his tweet has resulted in people across the country have taunting the basketball player.
People really weren't impressed by his angry tweet...
LeBron James hates ALL law enforcement officers and his deleted tweet proves it.— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) April 21, 2021
And this was just one of the hundreds of messages aimed at him.
LeBron tweeted a picture of Officer Reardon on April 21st...
This man saves a girl from getting stabbed. LeBron James threatens him bc he doesn’t wait for the facts and then deletes the tweet.— Meseidy | Femininity🌸Self-reliance🌿Freedom🗽 (@itsmeseidy) April 21, 2021
Funny, not everything is racism LeBron. pic.twitter.com/dUDAFTiyVV
Along with the caption, "YOU'RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY."
Upon seeing the backlash, the basketball star swiftly deleted his tweet...
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
And he explained his decision in a follow-up tweet shortly afterward.
"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."
Although the basketball player gave a reasonable explanation for his controversial tweet...
It hasn't stopped the criticism.
Many conservative figures have been calling upon his high-profile sponsors to drop him completely... including Candace Owens, of course.
If America was a country that believed in justice, Lebron James would be stripped of all of his sponsorships. https://t.co/LNyygUnFvu— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 22, 2021
"If America was a country that believed in justice, LeBron James would be stripped of all of his sponsorships," she tweeted.
There have even been calls for LeBron's upcoming movie, Space Jam 2, to be boycotted...
Boycott Space Jam— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 21, 2021
Lebron threatens police
Because LeBron "hates the police," apparently.
And as reported by Outkick, a bar in Ohio has even gone as far as to stop televising any of LeBron's games in protest.
Taking to Facebook, Jay Linneman, the owner of Linnie's Pub, wrote:
"If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don't come to Linnie's Pub. We will not air them until LeBron James has been expelled from the NBA."
But now LeBron has expressed his regret.
A move that has been praised online...
Thanks for being a man and accepting responsibility and owning it publicly! : ) Proud of you!!!— Priscilla Lee (@plee_ths) May 4, 2021
W lebron owning up to your mistakes— kaleb (37-28)💛💜 (@clappedkaleb) May 3, 2021
Lebron you spoke in the moment as we all do no need to apologize. Keep fighting— firstname.lastname@example.org (@adrianecurry8g1) May 5, 2021
Good to see you owning your mistake and learning from it!— Mildly Depressed Lakers Fan (@OprahSideClark) May 3, 2021
Some people have a problem taking accountability when they're wrong about something because everyone always makes them think they're right. Well Bron, you were wrong and still wrong. This article is nothing but deflections that make you feel better about being wrong— 👑KingRonald👑 (@kingron_b) May 4, 2021
Y’all better not find a way to complain about this, good stuff bron— KhalidCavsStan (@KhalidCavsStan) May 3, 2021
"I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma'Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it," he wrote.
I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it. Thank you @fabiolacineas for educating us about Ma’Khia and her story and why this needs to be about her. https://t.co/Owh1vDJWXi #sayhername #Blacklivesmatter— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 3, 2021
"Thank you @fabiolacineas for educating us about Ma'Khia and her story and why this needs to be about her."
Alongside his tweet, James included a link to an article that criticized Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon's decision to shoot sixteen-year-old Bryant at the moment it appeared she was about to stab another woman.
Protect our Young Black Women & Men! 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 3, 2021
Adding in a following tweet, "Protect our Young Black Women & Men!"
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