LeBron James challenged by LA County Sheriff to match $175K reward for cop shooting

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This weekend, two deputies were shot by one man near a metro rail station in Compton. The man approached the deputies’ patrol car and opened fire before fleeing the scene on foot. The video was shared online, in which the LA County asked people to help find the shooter for a $100,000 reward. Additionally, private citizens are offering a $75,000 reward for the same. During a recent interview, Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged NBA icon, LeBron James, asking him to contribute to finding the man responsible for the shooting of two cops – a 31-year-old female deputy and a 24-year-old male deputy.

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Compton cop shooting: LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva asks LeBron James to match reward money for LA ambush of two cops

During a recent interview on a local radio show, Villanueva issued the challenge to James. As per reports, the sheriff wants the Los Angeles Lakers star to give $175,000 or $350,000, a combination of both the reward pools. “I want you to match that and double that reward because I know you care about law enforcement,” Villanueva said after issuing a challenge to LeBron James. The sheriff went on to add that James has expressed a “very interesting statement on race relations and officer-involved shootings” with respect to the African-American community. Villanueva said that while he appreciates everything, he wants people to respect that “life goes across professions, races, creeds” and would like to see someone like James step up and double the reward money. 

The suspect, who shot the deputies at point-blank range, was described as a dark-skinned male between the age of 28-30. He was wearing dark clothes and the officers were able to ask for help via the radio. Both deputies underwent surgery on Saturday night. 

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As James has actively spoken about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Jacon Blake among others, Villanueva did not specify which statement he was referring to. The three-time NBA champion has maintained his stand and has continued raising awareness at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. James is yet to respond to the challenge issued.

Also read | Sheriff on Compton Cop shooting: need to stop fanning ‘flames of hatred’

Candace Owens blames “pea-brained” LeBron James for Compton cop shooting

Villanueva’s challenge comes right after controversial author and Donald Trump supporter Candace Owens called out James for being “pea-brained”, blaming him for the shootings. “Why does this happen? Because pea-brained celebrities that are idolized like @KingJames tell young black men that they are “literally being hunted,” Owens wrote, calling James dishonest. The author has also called out James on Fox News’ Life, Liberty & Levin interview, where she questioned him saying he has lived a “tough” life as a black man in the USA. She even mentioned James’ lavish $100 million mansion in Bel Air, where the NBA star employs people to cook, garden and drive him. “So if that’s racism, LeBron, please, please share some of that with the rest of us,” Owens said. In her tweet, she was referring to James’ tweet after Arbery’s murder. 

James is currently at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, preparing for the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers, led by James, have reached the WCF for the first time since 2010. The Akron native has dominated the floor this postseason, surpassing Ray Allen on the all-time playoffs three-pointers list and is now the all-time leader for the most number of playoff wins in NBA history. 

Also read | LeBron James’ dishonest rhetoric to be blamed for LA ambush and Compton cop shooting: Candace Owens

(Image credits: AP, LA County Sheriffs Twitter)

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