Vanessa Bryant, the widow of LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant, slammed the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department this week in an Instagram story, with screenshots of another Twitter user's tweets.
On Monday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged Lakers' LeBron James on matching $200,000 in reward money pertaining to information on a suspect who allegedly shot two deputies this weekend. On Saturday night, two LASD deputies were shot in an ambush-style shooting and the reward for information on the suspect has increased to $175,000. A viral video that later surfaced was criticized by Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
In a CBS story Villanueva said "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."
According to the LA Times, Bryant shared screenshots of a Twitter user, @ElanMaree, in her Instagram story late Monday night in regards to Villanueva's challenge which said: "How can he talk about trusting the system?” read one of the tweets. “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.”
The CBS story reported LeBron James has not publicly responded to the sheriff's challenge as of Tuesday morning.
The causes of the deaths of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven others were blunt trauma. The other victims, in addition to Bryant, his daughter, and Zobayan, were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester, her daughter Payton, and Christina Mauser.
Bryant and the eight others died Jan. 26 when their helicopter crashed in heavy fog in Calabasas. They were on their way to a tournament.