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.
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.