Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant is "absolutely devastated" following the allegations of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies sharing graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant and seven others. In a statement issued by her lawyer on Saturday evening, Vanessa is incredibly upset over the reports from the department, as they continue their investigation over the heinous act.
Vanessa's lawyer, Gary Robb per The Guardian said his client took to the sheriff's office on the day of the crash on Jan. 26, requesting that the "area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers."
"This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families," Robb said on behalf of Vanessa. "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."
Robb went on to call the act of sharing such photos, some reportedly even showcasing the remains of victims, an "unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and the privacy rights of the victims and their families."
Vanessa's lawyer adds that those who shared the photos should "face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated."
The story, initially reported by the Los Angeles Times reported that a "public safety source with knowledge of the events" had allegedly seen one of the photos on the phone of another official amid a setting not related to the investigation of the crash. The claims have officials "deeply disturbed" over the privacy breach.
"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."
Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 when they were traveling to a youth basketball tournament at the Los Angeles Lakers star's Mamba Sports Academy facility. The crash has been officially ruled an accident by the L.A. County Coroner, although investigators are still attempting to determine further details, including the cause of the crash, which occurred on a particularly foggy morning.0comments
Bryant's wife, Vanessa has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company, claiming the helicopter should have never been permitted to fly due to the weather conditions. The 76-page lawsuit also argues that the aircraft was unsafe, as it lacked a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. She is also seeking damages for the "pain and anguish" her husband and daughter could have potentially suffered amid the crash.
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