In late January, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter GiGi and 7 other victims were killed in a helicopter crash.
Media outlets began posting pictures of the accident scene, which in turn sparked widespread backlash from people deeming it unnecessary and disrespectful.
Now according to The Hollywood Reporter, a new proposed bill in California would make it against the law for first responders to use photographs of bodies taken at the scene for any other reason than the investigation.
The bill would be called “Invasion of Privacy: First Responders.” Should authorities break this law, they will be fined $5,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.
Not only were fans around the world outraged by the irresponsible use of the photographs of the crash site, but Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant also expressed her anger with the spread of the images with a lawsuit.
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” Gary C. Robb, Vanessa’s attorney said in a statement. “We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”
Back in March, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva required that all employees with pictures from the crash site, delete them permanently from their personal devices after reports of first responders sharing the images with the public.
“We’ve communicated in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable,” Villanueva said. “I mean, people are grieving for the loss of their loved ones. To have that on top of what they’ve already gone through is unconscionable. And, to think any member of our department would be involved in that.”
Now the proposed bill, introduced by Assembly member Mike Gipson, is currently before the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee.