LeBron James has condemned the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The NBA superstar said in a post-game news conference Monday night that Black people in America are “scared.”
After a Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 4 victory over the Portland Trailblazers in the Western Conference playoffs, James was focused on the shooting of Blake on Monday.
“Quite frankly it’s just f**ked up in our community,” he said. “And I said it, I know people get tired of hearing me say it but we are scared as a Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”
Blake was shot several times in the back by a police officer as he opened the door of a parked vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Video of the shooting emerged on social media late Sunday, sparking angry protests for two nights in row. The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, told CBS News that Blake’s three children, ages 3 to 8, were in the car. According to Crump, Blake is in stable condition.
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James, who said he saw the video, criticized the police’s handling of the incident, arguing that Blake did not need to be shot because there were other officers to help detain him.
“There were multiple moments where if they wanted to, they could’ve tackled him. They could’ve grabbed him,” James said. “They could’ve done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing and his family is there and the kids are there.”
He also questioned the mental state of the officer who shot Blake.
“You have no idea how that cop that day left the house,” he said. “You don’t know if he woke up on the good side of the bed, you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed… or maybe he just left the house saying that, ‘Today is going to be the end for one of these Black people.’ That’s what it feels like.”
James has continuously advocated for Black people who have been injured or died because of police. He has repeatedly called for justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed when officers entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant during a drug investigation. No drugs were found, and Taylor’s family has questioned the legitimacy of the warrant.