The L.A. County sheriff department is looking for the gunman responsible for shooting two of its deputy officers on Saturday (Sept. 12), and they’re offering a money award to anyone who can help in their search.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced there is currently $175,000 in reward money, but he’s asking for a contribution from LeBron James to help increase the incentive.
“This challenge is to LeBron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,” Villanueva said. “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.”
James has indeed been vocal about the Black victims who have been shot or killed at the hands of officers. He’s spoken about the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and recently shared some words about Jacob Blake’s sickening shooting.
“Quite frankly, it’s just fu*ked up,” he said. “I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared — as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified, ‘cause you don’t know …That’s what it feels like. It hurts.”
Villaneva’s challenge comes after a male and female deputy officer were shot multiple times by an unidentified gunman who approached their patrol car as they surveyed the Metro Station in Compton. They were in critical condition, but are expected to recover after a successful surgery. The sheriff is ultimately hoping the Lakers star can help raise the reward money to $300,000 for the person willing to provide the department with information about the gunman.