Sheriff's deputies allegedly shared photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.
Earlier this week, TMZ reported that there is an ongoing investigation into claims that deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were disrespectfully sharing photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others on January 26. The first report stated that gruesome photos of the victims' remains were being circulated amongst several deputies. The story was then updated with the discovery that a sheriff had pulled up this confidential content at a bar in an attempt to impress a woman, which led to a disgusted bartender reporting this offence to the sheriff's department.
Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa, has now responded to these reports. In a statement shared on her Instagram page, her lawyer, Gary C. Robb, wrote:
"Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site.
Mrs. Bryant personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers. This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families. At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests.
First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LACOFD would allegedly breach their duty. This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents.
Mrs. Bryant is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity.
We ask that anyone else who has information as to the facts underlying these alleged grievous and shameful incidents contact our office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com"
We will continue to keep you updated on this investigation.