Vanessa Bryant has called out Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, for calling out NBA star LeBron James.
During a radio interview Monday, Villanueva challenged the NBA superstar to match a $175,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman who ambushed two deputies in Compton over the weekend.
“I want to make a challenge,” Villanueva said. “This challenge is to LeBron James. I want you to match that and double that reward. Because I know you care about law enforcement, you expressed a very, very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and officer-involved shootings and the impact it has on the African American community. And I appreciate that.”
Related Story: Video Shows Gunman Ambushing Two LA County Deputies in Compton
James hasn’t publicly responded to Villanueva. But in a series of posts on her Instagram Story late Monday, Bryant did.
She shared screenshots of tweets and articles criticizing Villanueva and sheriff’s department deputies for leaking photos of the bodies after a helicopter crash killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna and seven others in January.
Vanessa Bryant reposted screenshots of tweets from a Twitter user named @ElanMaree, including one that read: “How can he talk about trusting the system? His sheriff’s dept. couldn’t be trusted to secure Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash scene, his deputies took and shared graphic photos of crash victims. Vanessa Bryant is suing them.”
How can he talk about trusting the system? His sheriff’s dept. couldn’t be trusted to secure Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash scene, his deputies took and shared graphic photos of crash victims. Vanessa Bryant is suing them. https://t.co/X48h2h4MNv
— Elan (@ElanMaree) September 15, 2020
Another post from the same user said, “He shouldn’t be challenging LeBron James to match a reward or ‘to step up to the plate.’ He couldn’t even ‘step up to the plate’ and hold his deputies accountable for photographing dead children.”
Bryant also included a quote from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti condemning the shootings of the two deputies and added: “Not all deputies are bad apples. Prayers for the 2 deputies that were shot.”
On Saturday evening, a gunman opened fire on the deputies as they sat in a patrol car outside a Compton Metro station. Each deputy was shot multiple times. They are now listed in stable condition, but face a long road to recovery.
The deputies are said to be a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy, and a 24-year-old man. Despite her injuries, the female deputy radioed for help and tended to her wounded colleague until other deputies arrived, the sheriff’s department said.
As of Tuesday evening, the gunman remained at large.