California Governor Signs Kobe Bryant Law Banning First Responders from Photographing the Dead

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Oct 01, 2020
07:30 A.M.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new law called "The Kobe Bryant Act of 2020" which prohibits first responders from taking pictures of the dead at the crime scene or accident site.

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Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson who authored the bill took to Twitter on September 29 to share the news that a law has been passed that will ban responders from taking photos of dead individuals outside their duties.

Gipson's tweet generated 14,000 likes as of this writing. The bill would also protect the privacy of the families whose loved one was involved in an accident or crime. 

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant during his 2008 basketball match with the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. | Photo: Getty Images

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LAW RECEIVES PUBLIC SUPPORT

Gipson authored the bill after he received reports that several deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash involving legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant.

Many Twitter users who seem to be California residents expressed gratitude for the recent passage of the bill. A Twitter user said

"Thank you @AsmMikeGipson for working on this bill. To the family members who experienced photos released of their deceased, it IS an important bill."

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One Twitter user suggested that a similar law should be applied nationally. Others recommended that Gipson make another bill for helicopter safety.

Citing an anonymous source, the LA Times reported that two days after the helicopter crash, one of the responders had phone pictures of the site that had nothing to do with the investigation. 

Before Newsom approved the bill, the Orange County officials made August 24 Kobe Bryant Day.

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Following the unethical actions allegedly done by the eight deputies, Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed a legal claim regarding the collection of unauthorized photographs involving her husband.

The claim sought damages for emotional distress and mental agony. Vanessa had earlier requested for security and privacy of the crash site.

The Bryant family's spokesperson said in a statement that the legal claim was filed to enforce accountability and protect the victims' families. The family also wanted to make sure that no one will have to deal with the same situation in the future.

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BRYANT'S FINAL LOVE LETTER

As Vanessa continues to mourn the death of Kobe, she has found one final letter from her beloved husband. The Lakers legend wrote the letter before he died.

Kobe died along with their 13-year-old daughter Gianna in the tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas in January. The two left behind Vanessa and her three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

The widow shared that she opened her late husband's final letter on the day of her birthday, May 5. The message, she said, has a photo of herself drawn with an angel holding her.

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Before Newsom approved the bill, the Orange County officials made August 24 Kobe Bryant Day. They unanimously voted on August 11 to dedicate a day for the legendary basketball player.

Chairwoman Michelle Steel, a Lakers' fan herself, requested the commemoration day to honor Bryant's life and legacy. The basketball player made a huge impact on the county, especially on young people.

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