LOS ANGELES COUNTY Sheriff Alex Villanueva has challenged NBA star LeBron James to match – and double – the $175,000 reward money being offered for information on the gunman who shot two deputies.
“This challenge is to LeBron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,” Villanueva said on KABC Radio on Monday.
“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 reward money hit $175,000 after a combination of donations of $100,000 from the county and $75,000 from two private individuals.
The LA Lakers star has been vocal about condemning police misconduct, but has yet to respond to the Sheriff’s challenge.
Following the shooting of James Blake in Wisconsin in August, James said black Americans 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 tweeted last month. “Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”
In another tweet, he continued: “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.
“This s— [sic] is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”
The deputies were shot in an ambush in Compton late on Saturday night.
New footage has been revealed of bystanders mocking the incident, which left the two officers hospitalized.
In a livestream on Instagram, one user recorded the events with a running commentary.
“N**** just aired the police out, n****!” the man exclaims. “They just aired the police out, n****! It go up in Compton. Them n****s just got aired out, cuz. They just bust on them n****s — that’s crazy.
“Two sheriffs shot in the face!” he continues, filming the police car. “N****s bust on the police, n****.”
In another video, a person can be heard yelling, “I want to deliver a message to the family of the pigs: I hope they f***ing die.”
Over the weekend, shocking footage emerged showing a man repeatedly shooting at the 24-year-old male and 31-year-old female officer from the Transit Services Bureau in their patrol car outside the city’s Metro Blue Line station.
Footage shows the unidentified shooter open firing on the passenger side of the patrol vehicle, leaving both the male and female deputy with critical head wounds.
The suspect got off a bus at the station and then carried out the attack before fleeing on foot.
The deputies were rushed to St. Francis hospital after they were shot at to undergo emergency surgery – but the male suspect remains at large.
The officers are now out of surgery and in a stable condition, AP reported, and are expected to survive.
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