Vanessa Bryant slammed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva for challenging NBA star LeBron James this week to match and double the benefit cash used for information on the shooter responsible for the ambush shooting of two deputies in Compton.
In no-longer-visible Instagram story posts, Bryant highlighted a series of tweets and short articles calling out Villanueva and the department, FOX News reported.
“He shouldn’t be challenging LeBron James to match a reward or ‘to step up to the plate,'” said a tweet Bryant shared, written by Elan Maree. “He couldn’t even ‘step up to the plate’ and hold his deputies accountable for photographing dead children.”
The tweet refers to the 8 L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputies who took graphic photos from the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Vanessa’s spouse, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 others– and leaked them to unapproved individuals.
Vanessa Bryant shared another tweet by Maree, which describes a clip in which Villanueva advised athletes, elected officials and civic leaders to highlight trust in the criminal justice system, instead of “fanning the flames of hatred.”
“How can he talk about trusting the system?” asked Maree in a quote tweet. “His sheriff’s department 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.”
Bryant also shared articles from several outlets regarding the image leaks, according to FOX News.
Saturday night, 2 LA County deputies– Claudia Apolinar, 31, and her 24-year-old male partner– were shot multiple times at point blank range as they sat in their patrol car in a horrific caught-on-video ambush.
The Sheriff department is providing a $175,000 benefit for info resulting in the conviction of the unknown gunman.
Speaking To KABC Radio on “The John Phillips Program,” Villanueva singled out LeBron James in a plea for assistance.
“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,” he continued. “But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”