Kobe Bryant fans are angry after the latest revelation in the scandal within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department involving photos of the helicopter crash site. Earlier this week, The Los Angeles Times and TMZ reported that photos of the scene taken at the scene of the Jan. 26 crash leaked and reportedly included images of the victims' remains. On Saturday, law enforcement sources told TMZ some commanding officers told deputies how to avoid punishment if they saw the photos.
Seems to be all the LA sheriffs do. Protect themselves from all their screw ups. With this, Gabriel Fernandez and I’m sure a butt load of other things.— HΞCTOR GRIDΞNKO ☬ (@hecxtreme) February 29, 2020
Sources told the site deputies at the Lost Hills substations and possibly others were told if they had the photos, they could tell their commanding officers about them and delete them to avoid punishments. The sources told TMZ the attempt to get rid of the evidence only began after the Times started asking about the photos.
And they were the ones condemning TMZ for breaking the story of the crash. A lotta nerve.— Lisa McEwen (@LisaMcEwen76) February 29, 2020
After the Times published their report on the scandal, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department announced it was launching a formal investigation.
I feel like they just didnt want the public to see as people are trying to mourn deaths.— Brandon Campbell (@BrandonCampbeII) March 1, 2020
"The sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act," the department said in a statement. "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."
One report from TMZ alleged that a deputy who had the photos "tried to impress a girl" by showing them to her. A bartender overheard the deputy and filed an online complaint to the sheriff's department.
And this is why I love TMZ, LAPD was upset and complained about not being able to notify the victims family first during death but here they are peddling and selling photo of the victims death this is the narrative they wanted the spotlight— Drake D Ephron (@ddephron) February 29, 2020
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others were killed in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Bryant's widow Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the owner of the helicopter. In the 76-page complaint, Vanessa claimed Gianna and Bryant may have survived the initial impact of the crash and suffered "pain and anguish." She also accused the helicopter company and pilot Ara Zobayan for flying in poor weather conditions.
Vanessa is seeking "damages (Kobe or Gianna) may have suffered between the time of injury and the time of death and for the recovery of which the deceased might have maintained an action had death not ensued including, but not limited to, mental anguish, physical disability, conscious pain and suffering, pre-impact terror, disfigurement, and further considering the aggravating circumstances attendant upon the fatal injury," the lawsuit reads.
Says their payed informants in the department.— Ben (@Benrichmond725) March 1, 2020
On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers and Staples Center hosted a Celebration of Life memorial for Bryant and Gianna. During the memorial, Vanessa gave a heartbreaking speech that included a final message to Bryant
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanessa said. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."
Photo credit: Getty Images