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NBA star LeBron James received pushback last week after he took to social media to plea for help for a close friend whose sister had been murdered the weekend prior.
“AKRON OHIO!! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her home! My brother family need answers to why and by whom,” he wrote.
“My city I need y’all to go to work and find out who did this awful, shameful, disgusting thing to such a caring, loving angel! #Justice4EricaWeems.”
By his “brother,” he meant his close friend.
Look at his tweet below:
AKRON OHIO!! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her home! My brother family need answers to why and by whom. My city I need y’all to go to work and find out who did this awful, shameful, disgusting thing to such a caring, loving angel! #Justice4EricaWeems❤️💔
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 4, 2020
The victim has been identified as Ericka Weems, a 37-year-old Akron, Ohio resident.
“Local police said officials discovered Weems unresponsive with apparent gunshot wounds around 3 p.m. Monday after she failed to show up at a friend’s house. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The Summit County medical examiner, Denice DiNapoli, ruled her death a homicide,” CBS News reported.
“James is close friends with Weems and her brother Brandon Weems, the director of scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brandon Weems retweeted James’ post, sharing his love for James and calling his sister ‘special and loved by all.’ On Instagram, he posted a longer tribute to his sister. ‘Why would anyone want to do this to you?’ he wrote. ‘I’m so angry, sad and heartbroken. My life will never be the same without you.’”
— Brandon Weems (@BrandonWeems10) November 4, 2020
While it’s a heartbreaking tale, James’ plea rubbed some the wrong way because of the continued disdain he’s shown toward police officers nationwide.
Three months ago he claimed that black people must worry about cops waking up in the morning and deciding “that today is gonna be the end for one of these black people.” The outrageous implication was that every white cop is a racist.
To make matters worse, he issued the claim in response to the non-fatal shooting of Jacob Blake, a criminal suspect and accused sexual assaulter who was shot when he turned his back on authorities and then reached into his car.
Non-fatal police shooting “victim” Jacob Blake of Kenosha, Wisconsin, may not be as innocent of a so-called “victim” as the media have portrayed him to be. In fact, according to his police records, he’s an alleged sexual assaulter… https://t.co/merEpGCwTO
— 🇺🇸 Nevada Jack Ralph 🇺🇸 (@NevadaJack2) August 29, 2020
Blake’s shooting initially provoked deadly riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but evidence later emerged strongly suggesting that the shooting had been 100 percent justified.
“Why are people protesting and rioting over this? It is very simple, he is a criminal, he is behaving in a criminal manner before the police get there, that is why they were called. Once they are called, what does he do?” former Tucson Police Department officer turned commentator Brandon Tatum, also a black man, noted at the time.
“He don’t comply, he don’t do what is right. He fights the police officers, and after they fight, they attempted to tase him. He is walking around the car, still defiant to the police. Then he goes into his car to do what? The police don’t have to wait for him to get a weapon or anything to do anything to him. They told him to stop, they pulled on his shirt, they attempted to stop him, and they used deadly force against him to protect the public and to protect themselves.”
The video above was recorded a day before James’ divisive remarks.
A couple of weeks after the NBA star issued the claim, a gunman ambushed and tried to murder two police officers in Compton, California.
Following the ambush, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva publicly asked James if he’d consider matching the $175,000 reward being offered for information on the then-unidentified suspect. But when pressed by the media about the offer, all James had to say was “no comment” …
Yet two months later, he now wants the public to rush out to his aid? The contrast is simply not sitting well with some.
Look at a sample of the backlash below (*Language warning):
Just blame the cops. Isn’t that the thing?
— Smitty (@Smitty_801) November 4, 2020
ask the police to help? Ohhh Waite you want to defund the police and dont like the police!
— Kelby Crandall (@crandall_kelby) November 4, 2020
Maybe the social justice message against the police on your jersey will help find the murderer.
— I am Donna (@crypsis00) November 8, 2020
Granted LeBron James doesn’t want to match the reward money for the shooter that the Police commission asking for, can LeBron expect help from police if he is in big trouble in emergency situations? His family?That should LeBron ask to himself who is a 6’9” height tall egomaniac.
— Noel Sagmit (@NoelSagmit) September 17, 2020
@KingJames man I feel for you…. but don’t you wanna defund police? You ask for the peoples help but they live by a street code… I just hope you give credit where it’s due from now on. pic.twitter.com/IQo173jq6x
— Mike (@MartyMcFlyCA) November 5, 2020
While James hasn’t ever outright said he’s for “defunding the police,” both the way he speaks about police and the so-called “social justice“-themed t-shirts he and his peers have worn make it clear he’s no fan of them.