Vanessa Bryant Calls Out Sheriff for Asking LeBron James to Match Reward

Update 09/15/2020 6:27pm:

Following Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s request for LeBron to match the reward for the gunman who wounded two LA County Sheriff’s deputies, Vanessa Bryant called out Villanueva and the sheriff’s department for graphic photos that were leaked after the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna, and seven others.

Bryant shared screenshots and tweets calling out Villanueva on her Instagram Story. One tweet read, “How can he talk about trusting the system? His sheriff’s department could not be trusted to secure Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash scene; his deputies took and shared photos of crash victims. Vanessa Bryant is suing them.”

Another screenshot was from a Hollywood Reporter article about the Union for deputies suing Villanueva to keep an internal affairs investigation into the distribution of the photos private. In addition, Bryant shared another screenshot of another article about a potential cover-up attempt by Villanueva in regards to the photos.

Vanessa Bryant filed a claim against Villanueva’s office back in May and LeBron James has not responded to Villanueva’s challenge.

Original 09/14/2020 11:45pm:

On Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged Lakers’ star, LeBron James, to match the reward for the gunman who wounded two LA County Sheriff’s deputies. Villanueva said the reward money reached $175,000 through a combination of donations from the county totaling $100,000, and two private donors came up with the $75,000.

“This challenge is to Lebron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,” Villanueva said on KABC Radio’s The John Philips 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.”

“And I appreciated that,” Villanueva continued. “But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”

LeBron has been one of the most vocal professional athletes calling out police violence in wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor – and most recently the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Villanueva concluded with, “Let’s see what he does,” adding, “I’ll be very curious to see what his response is, if any.”


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