LA County Sheriff Reveals 8 Deputies Were Involved in Sharing Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Scene Photos

The LA County Sheriff expressed regret over the discovery of eight deputies involved in propagating unauthorized photos from the scene of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash. A devastated Vanessa Bryant reportedly asked for the harshest punishment for them. 

Eight deputies were reportedly responsible for the spread of graphic photos taken from the site of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven other passengers.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant at an WNBA All-Star Game in July 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Kobe and Gianna Bryant at an WNBA All-Star Game in July 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

According to LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the deputies have been identified and are currently facing disciplinary action.

Villanueva expressed his shock in learning who was responsible for taking the photos which Vanessa Bryant tried to prevent on the day of the crash. She reportedly went to the sheriff’s office that day and asked to ban photographers from the scene to protect the victims’ privacy.

Vanessa Bryant watching a New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers game at Madison Square Garden in November 2015. | Photo: Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant watching a New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers game at Madison Square Garden in November 2015. | Photo: Getty Images

It was a “punch to the gut” according to Villanueva about the discovery of the culprits that took and propagated the photos. “It’s just a sense of betrayal,” he added.

News of the unauthorized photos first came to light after a bartender overheard a deputy trainee showing photos of remains from the crash to another woman at a bar.

Villanueva revealed that only two groups of people were authorized to take photos from the scene of the accident. These were the county coroner’s office and those investigating for the National Transportation Safety Board.

As such, Villanueva said the eight deputies who took unauthorized photos violated department policy. However, he adds in disappointment,  their actions do not constitute a crime against the law.

Villanueva has since apologized to the families of the victims who didn’t need to go through pain all over again with the release of the photos. The deputies reportedly sent them to several people inside and outside the department.

News of the unauthorized photos first came to light after a bartender overheard a deputy trainee showing photos of remains from the crash to another woman at a bar. The bartender reacted by immediately filing an online complaint with the Sheriff’s office.

Vanessa Bryant during her speech at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant on February 24, 2020. | Photo: Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant during her speech at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant on February 24, 2020. | Photo: Getty Images

A devastated Vanessa was allegedly grateful to the bartender for exercising his right to expose injustice. According to her lawyer, she requested for the harshest form of discipline to be imposed on the deputies responsible and that their identities be released to the public.
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