L.A. County sheriff's deputies reportedly took pictures of the remains & showed them to others, & later didn't want their names publicly shared.
It was devastating enough for Vanessa Bryant to lose both her husband and their 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash, but after learning that deputies at the scene were taking and sharing photos, the widow was vexed. A bartender reportedly filed a complaint with authorities after overhearing a patron, a deputy, hitting on a woman at a bar by telling her he had personal crash-scene photos that included the remains of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. When he allegedly took them out and proved that they were real, the bartender took action. In September 2020, Vanessa filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County sheriffs and it's been a point of contention regarding whether or not the names of the deputies involved should be shared with the public.
In a recent ruling, a federal judge has stated that Sheriff Alex Villanueva can no longer keep those names private. The judge denied the request to withhold that information and reportedly explained his ruling in a two-page document. The deputies were hoping that their personal information would be kept under wraps due to safety concerns, especially considering the international movement behind Kobe Bryant and his career. They were mistaken.
"Although the Court recognizes that this case has been the subject of public scrutiny and media attention and that the Deputy Defendants are legitimately concerned that they will encounter vitriol and social media attacks, such concerns, by themselves, are not sufficient to outweigh the public’s strong interest in access," the ruling said.
Vanessa took to Instagram to celebrate the bittersweet news. Check out posts about the court-ruling below.