Bill Liming, the father of fatally beaten Ohio teen Ethan Liming, said last week that the security is “grossly insufficient” at NBA star LeBron James’ I PROMISE School in Akron, where Ethan was tragically killed.
The 17-year-old was beaten near the I PROMISE basketball courts on June 2. Since the incident, three males — Donovon Jones, 21; Tyler Stafford, 19; and Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20 — have been arrested in connection to Ethan’s death.
“It’s not safe. It’s not secure,” Bill told News 5 Cleveland. “The cameras are grossly insufficient. I mean, grossly insufficient for security.”
According to News 5 Cleveland, police said video from outside I PROMISE School “did not clearly capture the attack or images of the suspects,” triggering Bill to voice his concerns.
The day after the suspected murder, an official account for the Lebron James Family Foundation reacted to Ethan’s death and contended that the campus “is safe and secure.”
“Our community is everything to us. We were devastated to learn of the overnight incident that saw a life lost near our school. We are grieving with our community over another senseless act of violence,” the statement said. “Our [I PROMISE School] campus is safe and secure as we continue to do everything we can to support our students, families, and the entire Akron community.”
(2/2) Our @IPROMISESchool campus is safe and secure as we continue to do everything we can to support our students, families, and the entire Akron community. 💚
— LeBron James Family Foundation (@LJFamFoundation) June 3, 2022
James quote-tweeted the post and added his condolences. “Our condolences goes [sic] out to the family who lost a loved one!!” the L.A. Laker tweeted. “My the [sic] heavens above watch over you during this tragedy! Pray for our community!”
Our condolences goes out to the family who lost a loved one!! My the heavens above watch over you during this tragedy! Pray for our community! 💚👑 https://t.co/bpq5qsoNfO
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2022
All three males who’ve been arrested in connection to the incident are black; Liming is white.
Ethan was driving with at least three friends on the day of the attack, reported News 5 Cleveland. According to Bill, two of Ethan’s friends were engaging in horseplay that angered the teen’s would-be attackers. When Ethan’s friends and the other males came back toward the car, Ethan tried to defuse the situation, but he was assaulted.
While Ethan was still on the ground breathing, Bill said his son’s two friends, who are black, tried to save him, according to News 5 Cleveland. They called 911 but were chased away and assaulted by the alleged attackers. Ethan was then further beaten to death.
According to Cleveland 19, it’s unclear why Ethan was targeted for the beating by the attackers, but Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said last week that the department’s investigation found no evidence that the killing was a hate crime.
“I am happy to report that today, officers with the Akron Police Department made several arrests in connection with the death of Ethan Liming,” the police chief said in a statement.
“We thank the members of the community for their outpouring of support that helped investigators throughout this investigation,” he continued. “We will continue to follow any leads that will result in bringing those responsible for Ethan’s death to justice.”
“While I believe the news of the arrests will be welcomed by Ethan’s family and loved ones, we all recognize that nothing will bring Ethan back,” Mylett added. “Violence in this country must stop. We are losing too many lives to senseless acts of violence.”