Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged NBA star Lebron James to help catch a gunman. The sheriff asked the athlete to match the reward money for information regarding the shooting. So far, the sheriff’s department has raised $175,000. This is a combination $100,000 in public donation and $75,000 from two private individuals.
Over the weekend, a gunman ambushed and shot two deputies while in their patrol car in the county. Despite being shot multiple times in the head, both deputies are expected to survive, according to CNN. The department is trying to catch their shooter.
“This challenge is to Lebron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,” Villanueva told KABC Radio on the John Phillips Show. “I know you care about law enforcement. 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.”
The sheriff continued, “And I appreciated that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”
Lebron James has publicly condemned police misconduct.
After George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake, James has been very vocal publicly about his frustrations. Police officers in Wisconsin shot Blake multiple times last month, sparking a series of protests and riots. James condemn police brutality and the police “terrified” black Americans.
“I know people get tired of hearing me say it. But we are scared as black people in America,” James said last month. “Black men, black women, black kids, we are terrified.”
Previously, James took to Twitter to vent his anger regarding police shootings. He’s been one of the most vocal athletes when it regards racism and social inequalities.
“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.”
According to Fox News, it is unknown whether Villanueva’s comments and challenge have reached James yet. The sheriff eagerly awaits his response, if any.
“Let’s see what he does,” the sheriff said. “I’ll be very curious to see what his response is, if any.”
[H/T: Fox News]