LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A proposed bill before the California Legislature would make it a crime for first responders to share out photos of bodies taken at crimes scenes, this after it was revealed in March that several Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies had taken part in sharing graphic photos from the helicopter crash that killed Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Under the bill, any first responder who was found to have shared a photo of a body from a crime scene or an autopsy “for any purpose other than an official law enforcement” would face a misdemeanor charge.
The charge would carry a maximum punishment of one year in a jail and a $5,000 fine.
AB-2655, titled “Invasion of Privacy: First Responders,” was introduced Monday by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) and is now before the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee.
On the morning of Jan. 26, Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the Calabasas hills amid heavy fog.
On March 2, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed that eight deputies were involved in sharing graphic photos of the helicopter crash. It’s unclear if they were punished.
At the time, Villanueva said the department has a policy against taking and sharing photos of crime scenes. However, the policy did not apply to accident scenes.