Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a challenge to basketball star LeBron James on Monday, suggesting that since James has been so vocal about race relations and police brutality, he should step up for the two L.A. deputies who were ambushed and shot over the weekend and match the reward money offered to capture the gunman.
“This challenge is to Lebron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,” Villanueva said during an interview with KABC Radio. “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. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across professions, across races, creeds, and I’d like to see LeBron James step up to the plate and double that.”
The sheriff noted that in addition to the $100,000 reward for information about the gunman responsible for the ambush, two individuals stepped up and donated $75,000 between them, bringing the total reward money offered up to $175,000.
On Saturday, the deputies were sitting in their parked police vehicle in Compton when the unknown assailant walked up to the vehicle and opened fire through the passenger-side window of the car.
“The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the department stated at the time, according to CBS News.
The 31-year-old female officer and the 24-year-old male officer both had to undergo surgery for multiple gunshot wounds.
James has been very vocal about racial justice issues, especially so in the last few years, loudly proclaiming that Black Lives Matter.
In 2020, as the nation grapples with heightened tensions in light of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and too many more, James’s activism has only shone brighter.