LeBron James Speaks Out On Black Family Mistakenly Arrested In Aurora, Colorado
After the Lakers' 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, LeBron James had something on his mind.
He answered reporters' questions then, unprompted, wanted to talk about a Black family that was mistakenly arrested in Aurora, Colorado.
On Sunday, police officers drew their weapons on a family that went to a nail salon, mistaking their car for a stolen vehicle.
A woman named Brittney Gilliam, her six-year-old daughter, 12-year-old sister and 14- and 17-year-old nieces were ordered to step out of their car and lie face down on a concrete parking lot. Gilliam and the teenagers were handcuffed.
A video of the incident that has gone viral shows the children lying on their stomachs, crying and screaming while surrounded by officers.
James and his wife Savannah have three children, Bronny, 15, Bryce, 13 and Zhuri, 5. He said the video deeply affected him.
"I seen a video of the family in Aurora, Colorado, I believe?" James said Wednesday. "And that’s what we’re talking about. And that’s what we’ll continue to talk about. And it resonated with me because I seen the little girl on the ground with the crown on her head. And it was just so hurtful and disgraceful to see a family being face down on the pavement for, once again, I believe being racially profiled."
When officers realized they had the wrong car, they released the family and apologized. The vehicle that had been reported stolen was a motorcycle with the same license plate number from Montana.
James added that he didn't understand how that mistake happened.
"The report came out that they were reporting a stolen motorcycle and the video clearly showed a SUV," James said. "And that kind of like doesn’t make sense to me."
James, who has long used his massive platform to fight for social justice, has continually spoken out inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World against racism and police brutality during the resumed season.
He demanded justice for Breonna Taylor. And he recently wore a T-shirt in honor of George Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
On Wednesday, following what happened in Aurora, James reiterated that change needs to happen.
"We just want better as the Black community," he said. "We’re literally not asking for a lot. For the s--- that we’ve went through for the last 400 years, the fact that we’re just asking for equality is like the lower tier of what we deserve, to be completely honest. And that right there just shows another example of why we feel the way we feel. Why we continue to talk about how we feel. Why we are as passionate [as we are].
"But at the end of the day, that’s also why we are the strongest as well. Because we continue to go through this every single day. And my prayers and my support go to that family that had to go through that. Something that probably could last for the rest of their lives, that traumatic event. But I hope they have a lot of love and support in their family that they’re able to try to get some decent rest every single night after what we all just saw once again."