THE ANGELS – Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, criticized the Los Angeles County sheriff for challenging current Lakers star LeBron James to match a reward offered in the ambush of two deputies over the weekend.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva suggested in an interview Monday that James should double a reward of $ 175,000 offered for information leading to the gunman’s arrest.
“This challenge is LeBron James,” Villanueva said in a 790KABC radio interview. “I want you to match it and double that reward. Because I know you like law enforcement. You made a very, very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and attacks on officers involved and the impact it has on African American society, and I appreciate that. But equally, we need to appreciate the respect for life going across professions, across races, creeds. And I want to see LeBron James step up on the record and double it. ”
LeBron James had not commented on Sheriff Villanueva̵
Vanessa Bryant, who is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after deputies allegedly shared photos from the helicopter crash site where Kobe, daughter Gianna and seven others died, responded in her Instagram story.
Bryant incorporated screenshots of tweets from a Twitter user named @ElanMaree including one who reads:
“He should not challenge LeBron James to match a reward or ‘step up on the plate.’ He could not even ‘step on the plate’ and hold his deputies responsible for photographing dead children. “
Another tweet questioned how Sheriff Villanueva could ask athletes and others to trust the criminal justice system when “His sheriff’s afpt. could not trust to secure Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash. ”
Bryant also included a quote from Mayor Eric Garcetti condemning the shooting of the two deputies and adding the message: “Not all deputies are bad apples. Prayers for the two deputies who were shot. ”
Both deputies were shot in the head at a blind spot area while sitting in their patrol car near a Compton subway station over the weekend.
According to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, protesters blocked the entrance and exit of the hospital’s emergency room, where deputies were treated Saturday night, and at least one shouted “We hope they die.”
The officers were listed in stable condition on Monday and are expected to survive.
KTLA contributed to this report.
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