Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed NBA player LeBron James on Wednesday for tweeting out a photo of the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot Ma’Khia Bryant as she swung a knife at another woman.
In an interview on Fox News, Cruz heavily criticized James and Democrats in general for attacking police officers before facts are known in the case. Cruz said James’ tweet could have been interpreted as a call for violence. Earlier in the day, James tweeted out the photo of officer Nicholas Reardon with the caption: “YOU’RE NEXT.”
“Unfortunately, this is a pattern where the left consistently goes after, attacks and demonizes police officers and they do so 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 ‘the police officer is in the wrong, the police officer is the villain,'” Cruz said.
“In this instance, ‘you’re next’ could certainly be interpreted by some, even as a call for violence and I think it was a grossly irresponsible message for LeBron James to send out and we have now seen the body cam footage from what occurred and by any measure, it was a volatile situation,” Cruz continued.
“The woman who was killed was wielding a knife, was violent, appeared to be threatening the least of others. 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. There needs to be an investigation, any time there is a shooting that takes someone’s life it should be investigated. The facts should be determined, but the left doesn’t care about the facts, they care about demonizing and attacking law enforcement and I think it’s wrong,” Cruz added. (RELATED: Media Ran With Early Reports On The Columbus Shooting Only To Be Wrong)
James later deleted the tweet, saying it was creating more hate, but said black people need to push for more “ACCOUNTABILITY.” (RELATED: LeBron James Tweets Picture Of Officer Involved In Ma’Khia Bryant Shooting, Says ‘YOU’RE NEXT’)
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
The media had been pushing a narrative that Bryant was unarmed, but she was armed. Body camera footage from the incident showed Bryant pushing one woman down on the sidewalk before swinging a knife at a different woman. Police shot the teenager multiple times after repeatedly telling her to “get down” as she charged at the other woman.