LEBRON James says he deleted a tweet which appeared to threaten a cop who shot a teenager because it was "being used to create more hate."
This comes after officer Nicolas Reardon killed Ma'Khia Bryant, 16, as she attacked another girl while holding a knife on Tuesday.
? Read our Ma'Khia Bryant shooting live blog for the latest updates
NBA star LeBron yesterday tweeted out a picture of the Ohio cop along with the caption: "You're next. #ACCOUNTABILITY."
Bryant's passing came moments after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on charges of murder and manslaughter following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
LA Lakers player LeBron yesterday evening hit back at criticism of his tweet and explained why he deleted the post.
He wrote: "I’m so d*mn 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."
In a another tweet, he said: "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!"
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."
Another said: "I don't understand why y'all tryna publicly crucify LeBron James for a now deleted tweet that was TOTALLY take out of context.
"I'm convinced that y'all LOOK FOR any little mistake to 'cancel' a person's entire career."
Meanwhile, multiple video clips showed Ma'Khia Bryant being shot four times as she apparently attacked another girl with a knife.
A second officer's footage showed him giving medical aid to Bryant as she laid on the floor, bleeding, while another cop administered CPR while pleading: "stay with us Ma'khia."
The graphic bodycam footage of the shooting was released by officials after cops responding to reports of a stabbing at 4.32pm, with officers arriving on scene minutes later at 4.44pm
In the chaotic footage, two girls can be seen arguing before a cop shouted "Get down" and began firing his weapon at one of them, moments after arriving on the scene.
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