For those who missed it, this was the tweet James sent out to his 50 million followers the day after Bryant’s shooting death:
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 21, 2021
He deleted it later, and replaced it with another tweet that simply read “accountability.”
Police officers wasted no time at hitting back at James, including by making viral TikTok videos that mocked him for jumping to conclusions and putting the officer’s life at risk, but one veteran police officer in Los Angeles has penned a powerful must-read letter to James detailing what the job of a police officer sometimes entails, and asking for a one on one meeting.
Here is what Deon Joseph, who has been a police officer for 24 years, wrote in part to James:
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.
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. 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.
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.
Read the full letter here or click below:
Joseph later posted a follow-up video noting that he was not “calling out” James but simply wanted to open up a dialogue with him to create a better understanding of what officers go through because he believes officers’ voices are being completely left out of the conversation:
Will James take him up on what looks like a sincere offer, or will he continue to be a part of the problem instead of part of the solution by fanning the flames and engaging in virtue signaling? As they say, stay tuned…
Update: Outkick’s piece on Joseph gives some background on his history of activism in trying to give people a better understanding of what life is like as a police officer. Make sure to check it out when you get a chance.
So I’m walking a foot beat in Skid Row, and a nice homeless lady slips me this note and tells me she loves me and is praying for me. I’m touched by this. For the past few months i was wondering if my works were in vain. Apparently not. 😇 pic.twitter.com/1GIptKnvEs
— Deon Joseph (@ofcrdeonjoseph) April 21, 2021