LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant is “absolutely devastated” by the allegations that deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash scene where her husband Kobe Bryant, their 13 year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed, according to her lawyer.
Bryant’s lawyer Gary Robb released a statement Saturday on her behalf, saying that to share photos of the crash site would be “an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families.”
The statement also called for the discipline of any deputies who are found to have shared the photos.
“First responders should be trustworthy,” the statement said. “It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations, and Los Angeles County Fire Department would allegedly breach their duty.”
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that a public safety source with knowledge of the situation said they had seen photos of the crash site on the phone of another official who was not involved in the crash investigation.
On Friday, the Times also reported that a citizen complained about a deputy showing gruesome images of the scene at a bar in Norwalk, California. The photos reportedly show the crash site and the victims remains.
The normal protocol would be a formal investigation. Instead, the Times said the deputies were told by the Sheriff’s Department to delete photos of the helicopter crash to avoid facing discipline.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Friday it was investigating the allegations detailed in the newspaper’s report. Robb said that Bryant went to the sheriff’s office on Jan. 26, the day of the crash, “and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers.”