LeBron James Slams Breonna Taylor Verdict, Says Black Women 'Most Disrespected' on Earth

LeBron James has slammed a grand jury decision not to charge the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, suggesting justice had not been served and that Black women are the "most disrespected" people on the planet.

A 26-year-old Black woman, Taylor was shot dead on March 13 in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky when police officers serving a so-called "no-knock warrant" raided her home during a narcotics investigation.

No drugs were found on the premises and the warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live in the house.

On Wednesday, the Jefferson County grand jury delivered its long-awaited verdict on the case, charging former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that went into another home with people inside.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove, who were also on the scene of Taylor's death in March, were not criminally implicated. Significantly, however, none of the officers was directly indicted on charges directly related to Taylor's death and the grand jury's ruling refers to bullets Hankison fired during the raid but before her passing.

Taylor's death sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls for justice to be served regularly punctuated the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted across the U.S. following George Floyd's death while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25.

Led by James, several NBA players were supportive and heavily involved in both protests. When the season resumed at the end of July in the bubble in Orlando, Florida, a number of players dedicated their interviews to speak exclusively about Taylor.

James was among those repeatedly spoke out on Taylor's death and demanded justice for the 26-year-old. Last month, the three-time NBA champion wore a T-shirt and a hat calling for the officers involved in her death to be arrested.

On Wednesday, the four-time MVP declined to talk to the media after the Lakers practiced, but made his feelings known on Twitter.

"I've been lost for words today! I'm devastated, hurt, sad, mad," he wrote on Twitter.

"We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted.

"I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I'm sorry!"

my love to Breonna mother, family and
friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!! 😔😔🥺🥺😢😢😢😭😭😭

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

In a follow up tweet, the Lakers star added: "The most disrespected person on earth is the Black woman! I promise you I'll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!"

The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond! 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

James' teammates Danny Green and Alex Caruso shared his stance and warned that despite the increase focus on racial inequality and police brutality in the wake of Taylor and Floyd's deaths, Black people continued to be targeted.

"Nobody was really happy about it," Green told ESPN.

"It was disappointing. In a sense, something was done, but it wasn't enough. Most guys felt it was definitely not enough.... It's a tough one. It's a tough one."

Caruso added: "This one case, I think, is the focal point right now, but even since then, there's been more Black innocent people that have been killed.

"You know, it's just going to be a long journey. Steps like this are hopefully small steps in the right direction, but there's still such a long way to go."

Speaking before the Boston Celtics took on the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, coaches of both teams spoke out against the verdict.

"To have 15 rounds of gunfire fired, five of which hit her, and there to be wanton endangerment—which I didn't know existed before today—as the charge... it's tough," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters.

"At the end of the day, there's been a call across the country, rightfully so, for more transparency, more accountability and just a better community relationship. And obviously, this feels like a setback to that."

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra added: "This [the players' and coaches' effort campaigns for social justice] has all been about justice. And it was not served."

LeBron James, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 22 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Mike Ehrmann/Getty