As reported by NBC News, a Columbus Police Department officer’s body-worn camera recorded him responding to a 911 call in Columbus, Ohio on April 20. The video, released Tuesday night, shows the officer yelling at Bryant to “get down” before firing multiple shots.
According to police, Bryant had allegedly threatened two girls with a knife.
On April 21, James posted a photo of the officer with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT [hourglass emoji] #ACCOUNTABILITY,” according to media reports by ESPN and other outlets.
After deleting his tweet, the Ohio-born athlete posted two follow-up tweets addressing the situation.
In the first response tweet, James 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!”
Minutes later, he added in a second tweet that the message he deleted was “being used to create more hate.”
He wrote, “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.”
James is a vocal advocate for racial justice. On the afternoon of April 20, he tweeted simply, “ACCOUNTABILITY,” which was an apparent reference to former police officer Derek Chauvin having been found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is not the only public figure to have responded to Bryant’s death via social media. Beyoncé posted a photo of Bryant on her website, writing, “We mourn the young life of Ma’khia Bryant.”
Mayor of Columbus Andrew Ginther posted on Tuesday in a pair of tweets, “This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life. We do not know all of the details. There is body-worn camera footage of the incident. We are working to review it as soon as possible. BCI [Bureau of Criminal Investigation] is on the scene conducting an independent investigation as they do with all CPD-involved shootings. We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts.”