LA County sheriff says 8 deputies took Bryant crash photos

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva acknowledged eight deputies allegedly took or shared graphic photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter rupture scene, however he ordered them deleted.

“That changed into once my No. 1 precedence, changed into once to make certain that that these photos now no longer exist,” Villanueva suggested NBC Files for a yarn Monday. “We identified the deputies concerned, they came to the web exclaim online on their non-public and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them. And we’re exclaim material that these concerned did that.”

The sheriff acknowledged he realized the week of the rupture that as many as eight deputies could maybe well had been concerned.

“We’ve communicated in no perilous terms that the conduct is inexcusable,” Villanueva acknowledged. “I mean, folk are grieving for the loss of their kin. To non-public that on top of what they’ve already long gone thru is unconscionable.”

Villanueva acknowledged the Sheriff’s Department doesn’t non-public a explicit coverage about taking photos on non-public cellphones. Nonetheless he plans to alternate that wretchedness and would seize to discover a enlighten rules making it unlawful to seize unauthorized photos of accident scenes depicting useless bodies.

Villanueva suggested KABC-TV that the deputies are going thru an investigation and doable disciplinary action. He wouldn’t specify the form of actions they could well face.

The Sheriff’s Department has a coverage against taking and sharing crime scene photos, however it doesn’t be aware to accident scenes, the sheriff suggested KCBS-TV.

Bryant, his daughter and 7 others died on Jan. 26 when their helicopter crashed precise into a hillside in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles, throughout cloudy weather. The victims had been traveling to a childhood basketball tournament at Bryant’s sports facility in Thousand Oaks.

The rupture remains below investigation by the Nationwide Transportation Safety Board.

The Los Angeles Times reported final week that a public safety provide with recordsdata of the events had considered one in all the photos on the phone of 1 other official in a setting that changed into once no longer connected to the investigation of the rupture. He acknowledged the photos showed the scene and victims’ remains.

Easiest the county coroner’s put of job and the NTSB had been licensed to seize photos of the rupture scene. After going thru grieving kin, “it’s factual a strategy of betrayal” to learn that assorted photos had been taken, the sheriff suggested KABC-TV, describing it as “a punch to the gut.”

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, changed into once “absolutely devastated” by the reports of unauthorized rupture scene photos being shared, her attorney acknowledged final week.

Villanueva suggested KABC-TV that he has apologized to the households.

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