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US Deputies shared graphic photos of Kobe Bryant crash scene, sources say

06:51  28 february  2020
06:51  28 february  2020 Source:   latimes.com

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others, according to two public safety sources with knowledge of the events.

a lot of smoke around it: The crash site of the helecopter Kobe Bryant was in on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 in Calabasas, Calif. Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter that crashed and claimed the lives of her husband, daughter and seven other people. © Christina House/Los Angeles Times/TNS The crash site of the helecopter Kobe Bryant was in on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 in Calabasas, Calif. Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter that crashed and claimed the lives of her husband, daughter and seven other people.

After multiple inquiries by the Los Angeles Times, the Sheriff’s Department said Thursday that the “matter is being looked into.”

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It’s unclear how widely the photos might have been disseminated and who exactly was involved. It’s also unclear whether the deputies had actually taken the photos at the scene or had received them from someone else.

One of the sources told the Times that the sharing of photos of the crash scene and the victims’ remains was the topic of a discussion among first responders two days after the crash. The source said he saw one of the photos on the phone of another official, in a setting that had nothing to do with the investigation of the crash. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

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NTSB: Kobe Bryant helicopter shows no evidence of engine failure. Gayle King says clip of What was found at the scene . The aircraft also lacked a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder Vanessa Bryant said she didn't know how her family would move forward from the loss, but that

Capt. Jorge Valdez, the head of the sheriff’s information bureau, said Wednesday that his office had been obligated to contact the family members of crash victims not because of allegations against the deputies but because the Times inquired about them.

Joseph Giacalone, who teaches police procedures at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said that generally, sharing photos with anyone not authorized to see them “is a cardinal sin in law enforcement.”

Slideshow by photo services

8 deputies accused of sharing photos of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash are facing administrative action

  8 deputies accused of sharing photos of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash are facing administrative action 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. © Kyle Grillot/REUTERS Fans gather around a mural of late NBA great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant during a public memorial for them and seven others killed in a helicopter crash, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2020.

Law enforcement agencies, particularly in Los Angeles, have struggled over the years with the unauthorized use of evidence involving celebrities.

The Sheriff’s Department launched a lengthy investigation into the leaking of documents after Mel Gibson’s infamous anti-Semitic rant during a drunken driving arrest. The issue was also highlighted when it was revealed that celebrity private investigator Anthony Pellicano paid members of law enforcement agencies for confidential information.

A Los Angeles police officer was fired in connection with a leaked photo of Rihanna after she was beaten by Chris Brown in 2009.

In a brief interview Wednesday at the Hall of Justice downtown, Sheriff Alex Villanueva would not discuss the allegations in the Bryant case in any detail, including whether the department had received a complaint that the photos were shared inappropriately.

Valdez said he was “unaware of any complaint.”

Bryant’s helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside last month in dense fog, killing the retired NBA star, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks. The other victims were Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter.

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©2020 Los Angeles Times

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