LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Monday that eight deputies were involved in the sharing of graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

It was reported on Feb. 28 that at least one deputy had shared photos of the crash site and the victim’s remains. By Monday, the number of deputies involved grew to eight.

RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Files Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company In Kobe Crash

According to Villanueva, the department has a policy against taking and sharing photos of crime scenes. However, the policy does not apply to accident scenes.

The sheriff said he was disgusted by what his deputies did.

“When I first got word of this information I just felt devastated,” he said. “These families of the victims have suffered enough already.

“To have any action of our deputies compile their suffering, that breaks my heart. It’s a sense of betrayal because these are my own employees.”

Villanueva said he intends to change the department’s policy by expanding it to include accident scenes.

Vanessa Bryant’s attorney released a statement over the weekend saying she was absolutely devastated and demanded the harshest punishment possible for everyone involved.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was also under investigation for taking and sharing photos from the crash site.

The helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside late last month in heavy fog, killing the retired Laker legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others on their way to a youth basketball game. The other victims were Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Comments (54)
  1. Renette Kendall says:

    These deputies should absolutely be fired. They obviously do not have a normal level of common sense or common decency. They have shown with these actions that they do not care one ounce for the public they serve. This is a horrific breach. Those paid to protect us are capitalizing on our sensational tragedies instead? Yuk. Thank you, Los Angeles County Sheriff Villanueva, for changing the policy to READ that crash photos are not allowed. I would have thought that those with the guns and power in our society could have thought far enough (and cared about people enough) to assume that, but apparently not.
    I would like to apologize to the crash victims’ families on behalf of humanity. I am so sorry this has happened to your families in addition to your unfathomable tragedy.

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