Officer Deon Joseph: “You are tired of Black folks dying? So am I. You hate racism and police brutality? So do I.”
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James took massive heat when he threatened the cop who shot Ma’Khia Bryant. He eventually took down the tweet, but he already did enough damage.
Los Angeles cop Deon Joseph responded with a letter on Facebook, asking James to sit down with him or any other cop to discuss the “reality of the profession of policing.”
Joseph told LeBron he would not come at him “from a place of hatred” and promised “no name calling.” He pointed out James’s “huge heart” when it comes to kids and his family.
“That’s to be respected,” wrote Joseph.
Your current stance on policing is so off base and extreme. Your tweet that targeted a police officer in Ohio who saved a young woman’s life was irresponsible and disturbing. It showed a complete lack of understanding of the challenge of our job in the heat of a moment. You basically put a target on the back of a human being who had to make a split second decision to save a life from a deadly attack.
A decision I know he and many others wish they never had to make. Especially when it involves someone so young.
Instead of apologizing, you deflected. You said you took your tweet down because you did not want it to be used for hate, when the tweet itself was the embodiment of hatred, rooted in a lack of understanding of the danger of the situation.
This is the tweet Joseph referenced:
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
Joseph wants to meet with James to talk to him about the police, but also to remind him that it’s wrong to “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.”
“You are tired of Black folks dying?” asked Joseph. “So am I. You hate racism and police brutality? So do I.”
Joseph wants James to set him himself apart from those who think all cops are evil:
Unlike some who have dug their heals in the belief that police are inherently evil, I think if you yourself actually sat down and had a real honest and open conversation with a cop, there is a strong chance you may discover we are not the monsters you have come to believe we are, who deserve the hate and distain you have.
And even if you come away feeling the same way, I could respect it, because at least you gave the other side your ear instead of only hearing one narrative.
The meeting has to happen without cameras or fanfare.
“Just two men who care talking,” Joseph stressed. “I know it’s a long shot. But this division and hatred must stop. It’s clear based on rising crime in marginalized communities that cops and the community need to build bridges to save lives on all sides. That cannot be done through the demonization of any group of people.”
Hopefully, LeBron accepts Joseph’s offer.DONATE
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