LeBron James Calls for Prosecution of Columbus Cop Who Shot Knife-Wielding Teen

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James answers questions at the Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, Calif., September 27, 2019. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron James called for the prosecution of Columbus, Ohio police officer Nicholas Reardon, who fatally shot an African American teen as she was attacking two females with a knife.

In a Wednesday afternoon tweet that was later deleted, the basketball star posted a photo of Reardon with a caption that reads “You’re Next.”

YOU’RE NEXT ⏳ #ACCOUNTABILITY pic.twitter.com/NnBfz9zdWq

Police received a call at 4:32 p.m. on Tuesday stating that “females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them,” Columbus interim police chief Michael Woods said. Police body camera footage depicted a young woman holding a knife during a skirmish with another young woman. An officer arrived at the scene and fired his weapon when the girl appeared to attempt to stab a second woman.

Wood said medics arrived “almost immediately” to perform life saving measures.

Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation intends to look into actions of the officer. “I understand the outrage and the emotion about this incident,” Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. said at a news conference. “The video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause.”

The shooting happened about half an hour before the decision was reached in the killing of George Floyd. James’s tweeted comments come in the wake of the guilty verdict in the case against Derek Chauvin, who was convicted on all charges, including second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will now conduct an investigation into the Reardon situation, Woods said. He confirmed that the police officer will be removed off the street from duty in the meantime. The investigation will be routed to Franklin County Grand Jury and then back to the police department for an internal review, Woods said.

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