NBA star LeBron James posted a wildly irresponsible photo on Twitter Wednesday of a Columbus, Ohio police officer who shot and killed a 16-year-old girl who was trying to stab two other girls.
James wrote “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY,” next to the image of the officer.
Michael Woods, the interim police chief of Columbus, said at a press conference that video of the incident showed “the female with the knife,” who the police officer shot and killed, was “attempting to stab” another female in the video.
The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) responded to James’ tweet by writing: “. @KingJames , with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.”
Columbus police moved rapidly on Tuesday to release body camera footage of the shooting to prevent rioting from breaking out as the trial involving former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had just ended.
“Normally we don’t provide information this soon, but we understand the public’s need, desire, and expectation to have transparency upon what happened,” Michael Woods, the interim police chief of Columbus, said. “We’ve worked very hard tonight to provide you a short video of the officer, the first officer that arrived at scene and this is the officer that did ultimately fire his weapon.”
“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 15-year-old girl will never be coming home,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said during the press briefing.
“We think it’s critically important to share as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. So we’ll continue to share footage, other information in the hours and days ahead, making sure we’re not in any way shape or form compromising the independent investigation being done by BCI. We felt transparency and sharing this footage as incomplete as it may be at this time is critically important to make sure we were sharing good accurate information about what transpired today with the public and for this grieving family.”
Police released new information about the case on Wednesday, including two 911 calls. One 911 caller alerted police that someone was “trying to stab us,” before the officer was forced to use lethal force on the girl who was trying to stab two other girls.
Police also released the body-worn camera footage of three officers who responded to the call and the identity of the officer who pulled the trigger.
The first 911 call came in at 4:32 p.m. The caller, who has not been identified by police, said amid a commotion in the background, “[indistinguishable]…trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on our grandma. Get here now.”
A second 911 call came in, but the caller quickly hung up when police arrived at the scene.
The officer who discharged his firearm, Nicholas Rearden, has been on the force since December 2019. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Footage from his body-worn camera shows that as soon as he pulls up, a young female with an apparent knife in her hand is forcing another female to the ground. She then turns and charges at another female nearby, while still holding the apparent knife, at which point Rearden fires multiple shots, fatally striking her.
Two other officers, whose body camera footage was also released Wednesday, performed CPR and other life-saving measures on Bryant after the shooting. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
As leftists and BLM activists like James attempt to label the teenaged girl as their newest martyr, Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said the community should not “rush to judgment” in the aftermath of the “tragedy.”
“I understand the outrage and emotion around this incident. A teenage girl is dead and she’s dead at the hands of a police officer. Under any circumstances, that is a horrendous tragedy. But the video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events, and though it is not easy, wait for the facts.”
Author: Michael Ross