Vanessa Bryant is said to be “absolutely devastated” that graphic photos of the Kobe Bryant crash site were reportedly shared by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.
According to the LA Times, Bryant’s attorney Gary C. Robb requested an internal affairs investigation into the allegations and the “harshest possible discipline” for those responsible.
“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,” Robb, said in a statement on Sunday.
Bryant’s helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, Calif. last month, claiming the lives of his 12-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, including the pilot.
Kobe’s widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter. Her attorney also noted in the statement that Vanessa went to the sheriff’s office and requested the crash site area be designated as a “no-fly zone”.
“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,” Robb said. “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,” Robb added. “It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LAFD 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.”
The statement concluded, “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.”
The Sheriff’s Dept. reportedly tried to keep the photo scandal under wraps, until reporters from the Los Angeles Times exposed the cover-up.
Deputies who responded to Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash site and took pictures of the remains were given a secret way out without repercussion.
We’re told a message was relayed.. if you got Kobe pics — come in, come clean and delete them. Do that, and you won’t be punished.
Sources say this attempt to get rid of the damning evidence was all being done on the hush-hush, and it was only when the L.A. Times came around asking about this scandal that the department launched a formal inquiry.
Vanessa also shared the following statement on her Instagram page:
“The Sheriff’s Department is aware of recent media reports alleging deputies shared images from the January 26th, 2020 helicopter crash, which tragically claimed the lives of nine people. The facts surrounding these allegations are currently under investigation, as are the effectiveness of existing policies and procedures,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office said in a statement. “The Sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act. A thorough investigation will be conducted by the Department, with the number one priority of protecting the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families.”