There has been a lot of controversy in the wake of the crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. In fact, L.A. officials are facing extraordinary consequences after mishandling photographs from the site of the fatal helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant, widow of Kobe, was “devastated” after learning that the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff Department “publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site.”
In a statement posted to her Instagram, Vanessa’s lawyer’s revealed that she” personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers.”
But now, in the wake of the investigation into the photo leak, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is speaking ou, stating he ordered numerous deputies, who took photographs of the site, to delete them from their personal devices, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“That was my No. 1 priority, was to make sure those photos no longer exist,” Villanueva said, speaking with NBC News. “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And, we’re content that those involved did that.”
Villanueva confirmed that deputies had been sharing the photos in public on their own. However, no one has been relieved from duty due to possibly making matters worse.
“Had we done the original, usual routine, which was relieve everybody of duty and everybody lawyers up and all that, that would increase the odds 10-fold that those photos would have somehow made their way into the public domain. And that’s definitely what we do not want,” he continued.
However, Vanessa and her attorney think everyone who participated in this disrespectful act, should be punished.
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” Vanessa Bryant’s attorney, Gary C. Robb, said in the statement previously uploaded to Vanessa’s Instagram. “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.”
While it is uncertain if those deputies involved will be punished for their actions, Villanueva did state their actions were “inexcusable.”
“We’ve communicated in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable,” Villanueva added. “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.”