Black LA Cop Writes Letter to LeBron James, Invites Him to Have Discussion About Policing Issues


Beyond that, however, there are still questions James has to answer. LAPD Officer Deon Joseph would like to sit down with him to do just that.

According to his webpage, Joseph “has worked for the LAPD for over 25 years, twenty-three of those years in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row community. From patrolling the streets or providing a shoulder for the community to lean on to meeting with public figures and advocating for change, Deon is driven to create an environment conducive to change for the homeless and those trying to reclaim their lives from the grip of addiction.”

In a viral letter posted on Facebook over the weekend and addressed to James, Joseph said he would like to “sit down with you and talk” so James could “understand the reality of the profession of policing.”

“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 [disdain] you have,” wrote Joseph, who is black.

“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. “

Joseph, who said he wasn’t approaching the matter “from a place of hatred,” praised LeBron’s philanthropy and the relationship the Los Angeles Lakers star has with his family.

“You play for the team my family has cheered for since the 1960s, then myself since 1979. But… Your current stance on policing is so off base and extreme,” Joseph wrote in his Facebook post. “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.

Even though the officer in the case, Nicholas Reardon, likely never wanted to make that kind of decision with someone so young, Joseph wrote, LeBron didn’t really say he was sorry.

“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,” he wrote.

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