LA Sheriff Challenges Lebron James to Match Reward for Anti-Cop Ambush Gunman
Sheriff Alex Villanueva calls on BLM advocate NBA star to step up
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has challenged NBA star Lebron James to step up and match the reward money offered for information on the gunman who ambushed two deputies over the weekend.
Sheriff Villanueva is calling on outspoken Black Lives Matter advocate James to use his influence to help bring the shooter to justice.
Villanueva laid down the gauntlet to James while speaking with KABC Radio on the John Phillips Show Monday.
The reward money has now reached $175,000 - a combination of donations of $100,000 from the county and $75,000 from two private individuals, Villanueva said.
"This challenge is to Lebron James," the sheriff said.
"I want you to match that and double that reward."
"I know you care about law enforcement," Villanueva continued.
"You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African-American community.
"And I appreciated that," he added.
"But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions."
The Los Angeles Lakers star has been one of the most vocal professional athletes to speak on social issues and to condemn police misconduct.
After Jacob Blake was shot multiple times by officers in Wisconsin last month, James said black people in America are "terrified" of police misconduct.
"I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as black people in America," James said following the Lakers' Game 4 win over the Portland Trail Blazers last month.
"Black men, black women, black kids, we are terrified."
He earlier tweeted his frustrations about police shootings.
“And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted,” James wrote.
“This s--- [sic] is so wrong and so sad!!
"Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”
It was not clear if James was aware of Villanuena's challenge.
The Lebron James Foundation has yet to make a statement regarding the reward money.
"Let's see what he does," the sheriff said.
"I'll be very curious to see what his response is, if any."