California is one of four states that does not have a decertification process for police officers and that doesn’t sit right with Los Angeles Lakers star and social activist LeBron James.
More Than A Vote
Community organizers, activists, and the James-backed advocacy group, More Than A Vote, are working to change that.
More Than A Vote is pushing the California Assembly to pass Senate Bill 2, commonly known as the Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act.
Per LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times, the organization sent a letter to the California Assembly, stating:
“More Than A Vote represents many Black athletes who love playing in California. Black athletes who love the culture, the people, and the communities that take them in as their own. That’s why this is so important to an organization like ours. These are the communities that nurtured, protected and developed the athletes of More Than A Vote and allowed them to live out their dreams,”
Curbing the slew of police officers killing Black people has been a goal of the four-time NBA champion for some time now. He’s openly and honestly expressed his feelings in interviews and on social media platforms.
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
Senate Bill 2: Justice For Kenneth Ross Jr.
Senate Bill 2 is named after Kenneth Ross Jr., a 25-year-old who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2018.
According to reports in Los Angeles, Gardena police officer Michael Robbins responded to a call of shots being fired on April 11. When officers arrived, Ross Jr. allegedly failed to obey commands and was running away when Robbins fired multiple shots.
Investigator’s claim that Ross Jr. had a gun at the time he was shot. An accusation that family members adamantly refute.
“They said he had a gun. We have the video of when he fell. They then handcuffed him to search him. They do search him. They find nothing,” Ross Jr’s. family attorney Haytham Faraj told ABC 7 News in an interview.
Robbins hasn’t been criminally charged for shooting Ross Jr., and the police officer hasn’t missed a day of work since.
“The state of California is able to revoke the certifications and licenses of bad doctors, bad lawyers, even bad barbers and cosmetologists … you can even recall an elected official, but is unable to decertify rogue police officers who break the law and violate public trust,” California Senator Steven Bradford said in a statement to KSBY.
It’s a shame that the law doesn’t already decertify rogue officers. If it were non-Blacks being assaulted then this law would’ve passed years ago.
Too often, the victims of such police abuse are African-Americans whose frustration and pain go unheard. These damaged families are often left to piece their lives back together following an unjustified police shooting.
Once again LBJ showed us that he won’t just “shut up and dribble.”
LeBron James speaks on the ignorant "Shut up and dribble" comments pic.twitter.com/bnfuWmuDxU
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) February 18, 2018
Just because the NBA removed the “Black Lives Matter” banners from the court and the media isn’t asking NBA players about police killings in this country doesn’t mean guys like LeBron aren’t still using their influence to fight for social justice, make changes in policy and give a voice to the unheard.