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Sports Vanessa Bryant sues Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department over alleged photos deputies took at crash site

21:29  22 september  2020
21:29  22 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Vanessa Bryant is suing the L.A. County Sheriff and his department after deputies took photos of Kobe and Gianna Bryant ' s bodies at the crash site . Vanessa is suing Sheriff Alex Villanueva, alleging he tried to cover it up by telling deputies they would not face repercussions if they deleted

Vanessa Bryant suing Los Angeles County Sheriff ' s Department over deputies allegedly Sheriff Alex Villanueva "personally assured" Vanessa Bryant that deputies had the scene secured to However, a complaint filed to the department alleged a deputy had taken photos of the crash and

Kobe Bryant wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 91st Academy Awards. © JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX, AFP via Getty Images Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 91st Academy Awards.

Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva over alleged photos sheriff’s deputies took of the crash site where Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna Bryant died along with seven others following a helicopter accident near Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26.

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Vanessa Bryant is suing LA Sheriff ' s Department after eight deputies shared graphic pictures of deadly helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna - including one cop who showed them off to a woman at a bar. Vanessa Bryant filed the claim Friday, seeking damages for

Los Angeles (AFP) - Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County sheriff ' s department over unauthorized photographs of the scene at the helicopter crash that killed her husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant , and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. People magazine obtained the legal claim filed

The lawsuit, filed last Thursday in the Superior Court of California and obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday, cites emotional distress, negligence and invasion of privacy. It alleges at least eight sheriff’s deputies took photos on their personal cell phones of the crash. Additionally, a deputy trainee shared the photo with a member of the public days after the crash, according to a bartender who witnessed the interaction and then filed a written complaint to the department.

“At the moment the deputies snapped photos of Kobe and Gianna’s remains, they created a harm that cannot be undone, and the Department’s response has only exacerbated that harm,” the lawsuit says.

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Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’ s Department over photos leaked by first responders from the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site . People obtained a copy of the legal claim filed Friday, and a spokesperson for Kobe Bryant ’s widow confirmed the lawsuit.

Vanessa Bryant has begun legal proceedings to sue the Los Angeles County sheriff ’ s department over graphic photographs taken at the helicopter crash scene that killed her husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant , and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. People magazine obtained the legal claim filed

Messages from USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday afternoon to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit alleges Villanueva then instructed his deputies to delete the photos. In late February, a Los Angeles Times report revealed that deputies may have taken photos of victims’ remains at the crash site – where the National Transportation Safety Board and coroner’s office conducted investigations -- and shared them. Bryant released a statement saying she and her family were “devastated” by the potential existence of such photos, and Villanueva later admitted he ordered the photos’ deletion, calling the deputies’ conduct “wildly inappropriate” and “disgusting.” However, there was no formal investigation, the suit says.

Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant sent the county and sheriff’s department a letter on March 8 requesting information and records regarding any investigation of the photos, “including any photos or videos in the possession of or disseminated by the sheriff’s department personnel.” Legal counsel representing the county responded the next month saying they were unable to aid in the request.

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VANESSA Bryant is suing Los Angeles cops after officers allegedly leaked pictures from Kobe Bryant 's helicopter crash - including one deputy who Kobe's widow Vanessa , 37, has alleged that members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’ s Department shared unauthorized photographs of

Vanessa Bryant filed a claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff ' s Department , contending deputies "As the department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site . Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes."

The lawsuit says social media users have cautioned Vanessa Bryant that photos of Kobe, the Los Angeles Lakers legend, and Gianna’s bodies at the scene exist online:

“Mrs. Bryant’s fear has been exacerbated by the fact that, despite knowing about the photos within days of the crash, Sheriff Villanueva took none of the steps that a reasonable supervisor (let alone a highly-trained professional investigator) would take to prevent dissemination of harmful photos … it is impossible to rule out that the photos will surface and go viral online. This uncertainty has caused Mrs. Bryant severe stress and anguish.”

In addition to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the other seven victims of the crash were: Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and Ara Zobayan, 50.

Vanessa Bryant has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company operator, Island Express Helicopters, and the estate of Zobayan, the pilot.

On top of unspecified compensatory damages determined at trial, the suit seeks punitive damages “in an amount appropriate to punish the defendants and make an example of defendants to the community.”

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Eight Los Angeles County Sheriff ' s deputies are facing administrative action after they allegedly shared graphic photos of a helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant , his daughter and seven others, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told CNN Monday.

Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles county sheriff ’ s department after photos reportedly were shared of the helicopter crash site where her husband, Kobe Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.” Back in March, Vanessa acknowledged she was “devastated” over the

“Hope is not a plan and it is no comfort to Mrs. Bryant,” the suit says.

Contributing: Tom Schad

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vanessa Bryant sues Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department over alleged photos deputies took at crash site

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