It's been over a month since Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others died in a helicopter crash that occurred on Jan. 26. Recently, a scandal has emerged concerning the Los Angeles Police County Sheriff's Department, as it was reported by the Los Angeles Times that deputies allegedly leaked graphic photos from the scene of the tragic crash.
These allegations have hit many hard, with fans online inquiring what could have led to this privacy breach. This matter, which was first brought to light on Friday, is an ongoing concern, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department currently investigating the issue.
But, in advance of the completion of this recent investigation over the alleged privacy breach, here's everything you need to know about the situation.
The Allegations First Emerge
On Friday, it was alleged that deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had released a number of photos of the Jan. 26 crash site that were said to have been "graphic" in nature, per ABC 7 News. It is currently unclear who may be involved in this leak, as no names have yet been officially released in connection with the reported action.
"The sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act," a statement from the department said, according to ABC News. "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."
Who Took the Photos?
It’s unclear how widely the photos might have been disseminated and who exactly was involved. It’s also unclear whether the deputies had actually taken the photos at the scene or had received them from someone else. https://t.co/EzCckK6ec9— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 28, 2020
The Los Angeles Times reported that it is unclear how widely the images have been shared. Additionally, they reported that it is currently unclear whether the deputies who were involved in the alleged incident took the photos at the scene of the crash or whether they had received them from another source.
An Update From TMZ
While the Times did not share any details about who allegedly shared the photos, TMZ has reported more information about the issue. The publication alleged that "multiple L.A. County Sheriff's deputies who responded to the crash scene took photos that included remains." The agency continues to allege that one of the deputies who obtained photos had supposedly shown them off at a bar, with a source claiming that "he tried to impress a girl by showing her the photos."
TMZ reported that a bartender had overheard the conversation about the photos and subsequently filed an online complaint to the L.A. Sheriff County Department.
The Timeline of the Alleged Issue
In TMZ's report, it was also alleged that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has known about this issue for about three weeks. The deputy who allegedly showcased photos of the crash at the bar reportedly did so only a few days after the crash occurred.
A Statement From Capt. Jorge Valdez
In response to this matter, Capt. Jorge Valdez told the L.A. Times that "his office had been obligated to contact the family members of crash victims" not because of the photos but due to the allegations. He also explained that he was "unaware of any complaint" about the alleged leak.
The L.A. Sheriff's Department Releases a Statement
Shortly after the allegations were revealed, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department released an official statement regarding the matter. In their statement, they noted that a "thorough investigation" would be done regarding this incident.
“The sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act,” the statement said, as obtained by ABC News. “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."
It is unclear how long this investigation will take.