Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been on the receiving end of criticisms after his controversial tweet regarding the police officer involved in the shooting of the 16-year-old African-American teenager Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. Now, a well-known police officer in Deon Joseph wrote an open letter to The King and requested a dialogue with him.
Joseph, who has been known as an “Angel Cop” for his work in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row community, wrote to the Lakers forward and shared his disappointment over his “irresponsible and disturbing” stance on policing. To recall, James posted a photo of Nicholas Reardon after he was identified as the police officer who shot Bryant and captioned it with “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY”; however, it was later reported that Reardon opened fire upon seeing an attempted stabbing.
In his letter posted on Facebook, Joseph noted that LeBron’s thinking stemmed from his “complete lack of understanding of the challenge” of the police job. However, he emphasized he is not coming from a place of hatred adding that he wants to help him understand the “reality of the profession of policing” and show the Lakers icon the other side he needs to know as well.
“I don’t know if this will ever reach you, but my hope is that one day I can sit down with you and talk. As a man of faith, I can have no hatred toward you. But I do feel I can help you understand the reality of the profession of policing, and that there is another side you need to hear,” Deon Joseph wrote in a part of his open letter for LeBron James.
“You are tired of Black folks dying? So am I. You hate racism and police brutality? So do I. But you cannot paint 800,000 men and women who are of all races, faiths, sexual orientations and are also mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, preachers, coaches, community members and just human with such a broad and destructive brush.”
It remains to be seen if LeBron James will respond to the letter of Deon Joseph. However, given his history, it is entirely possible he’ll see it and respond to it. After all, Joseph is known in the LA area after working for the LAPD for over 25 years.
For what it’s worth, LeBron acknowledged after deleting his tweet about Reardon that he needs to educate himself better. Perhaps a talk with Joseph will help the Lakers superstar and give him a better understanding of the situation.