Vanessa Bryant calls for release of names of deputies that leaked helicopter crash photos of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, expressed her frustration at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Apparently, the Sheriff’s department does not want to expose the names of their deputies who supposedly captured and shared photos of the tragic January 26, 2020 helicopter crash, which included her husband, daughter, and seven others.
Vanessa Bryant just posted this on Instagram pic.twitter.com/yk9DuIRPhG
— NBA Insider Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 27, 2021
The rationale behind keeping the names out of public record is to protect the four deputies, as their personal information and details can easily be looked up online. These deputies may face harsh backlash.
Vanessa Bryant had previously submitted an amended complaint in federal court to her original civil rights lawsuit versus Los Angeles County and Sheriff’s Department. The said complaint added the deputies and the L.A. County Fire Department.
Photos of a deceased Kobe Bryant and the other casualties spread online last year, much to the displeasure of Vanessa, Lakers fans and the general public. It reached the point that California Assembly member Mike Gipson submitted legislation that would make it illegal for first responders to photograph a deceased person for any purpose besides official law enforcement business. The punishment can range from a year in jail time and as much as $5,000 in fines.
As early as May 2020, Vanessa had filed a legal claim over the inappropriately taken crash photos. The claim of the widow of the Lakers legend was based on “emotional distress and mental anguish” caused by the photos.
Vanessa was active on social media sharing content on Sheriff Alex Villanueva and how his department handled the crash situation involving the Lakers star, her daughter and other passengers. One tweet that she shared was a scathing reply to Villanueva’s statements about having faith in the criminal justice system.
It remains to be seen if the LA County Sheriff’s Department will give in to the demand. However, many eyes will certainly be on the situation as it unfolds.