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Kobe Bryant’s Widow Vanessa Defends LeBron James, Trashes LA Sheriff Over Police Shooting Response

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By Ryan Naumann

Vanessa Bryant is calling out the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department after they challenged LeBron James to donate $175,000 to help find the man who shot two deputies.

On September 12, two LA County Sheriff’s deputies were shot multiple times in the head by an unknown gunman. The officers remain in critical condition. The criminal has not been identified and the search is on to find him. The LASD put up $100,000 in reward money for information that leads to the gunman’s arrest and conviction. Two private donors added an additional $75,000

Recently, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva went on the radio to challenge LeBron James to match the $175,000 raised. He did not mention why he was calling on a private citizen, who has no connection to the situation, to pledge money.

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He 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 on officer involved shootings and the impact it has on the African American community, and I appreciate that. But likewise, we need to appreciate the 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."

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LeBron is a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter and speaks out against police brutality. He has used his voice to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Many people have called out the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for name dropping the NBA star. Vanessa Bryant clearly wasn’t pleased with what she heard and took to social media.

Kobe’s widow posted a screenshot of a tweet. The original tweet featured a clip of LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva saying athletes, elected officials, and civic leaders need to emphasize trust in the criminal justice system rather than “fanning the flames of hatred.”

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Another person replied to the tweet writing, “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.”

She posted another tweet talking about the Sheriff’s Department. It read, “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.”

Vanessa is currently in the middle of legal action against the Sheriff’s Department for taking photos at Kobe’s death scene.

Others on Twitter sided with Vanessa’s view. One wrote, “So, according to Villanueva, LeBron James needs "step up to the plate" and double the reward for the gunman who shot two sheriff deputies? Where do you even start with that?”

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“LA County Sheriff should make a donation to #BlackLivesMatter -12 million for assassinating a Black women in bed -s/b 12 billion,” said another.

One suggested, “Ok but first Sheriff Alex has to win an NBA title since he wants other people to do HIS job.”

“Last I checked @LebronJames is a Professional athlete among other things, NOT an LA sheriff or bank. Last I heard on your station he was to just up and dribble. LASD should be angry enough to do their job to find the shooter without asking for LBJ to match the reward $#DoYourJob,” wrote one person.

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