On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over photos that were taken and leaked by deputies of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, daughter and seven others aboard in January.
The suit is asking for damages “in an amount to be proven at trial.” The lawsuit, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, details that Bryant has been suffering devastating emotional damages since she learned the pictures taken at the site by deputies had been shared within the department and in public.
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“The biggest threat to the sanctity of the victims’ remains proved to be the Sheriff’s department itself. Faced with a scene of unimaginable loss, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies at the crash site pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches,” the lawsuit states.
“The gratuitous images soon became talked about within the department, as deputies displayed them to colleagues in settings that had nothing to do with investigating the accident. One deputy even used his photos of the victims to try to impress a woman at a bar, bragging about how he had been at the crash site,” the lawsuit adds.
Earlier, Bryant had filed a legal claim against the sheriff’s department over the photos. After the press was made aware of the existence of the photos in March, Sheriff Alex Villanueva ordered that the images be destroyed and denounced the deputies’ behavior. However, it remains unclear if the deputies in question were reprimanded.
Several days ago, Bryant condemned Villanueva for publicly challenging LeBron James to match reward money that had been offered for information that might lead to the arrest of a man who shot two deputies in an ambush. James has frequently criticized police brutality and supported the Black Lives Matter movement. The basketball legend has not publicly responded to the sheriff.
In June, Villanueva was sued by the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs union in the hopes of keeping the names and actions of the deputies who shared the photos from the helicopter crash site from the public.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
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