Vanessa Bryant ‘Devastated’ Over Allegations That Officials Shared Photos of Kobe Crash Site
Instagram

Vanessa Bryant is responding to allegations that authorities shared photos of the crash site where her husband, Kobe, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died on January 26.

Sunday on Instagram, the famed athlete’s widow shared a statement from her lawyer, Gary C. Robb, expressing outrage over the reports.

"Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site,” it read.

Vanessa “personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers,” as she “desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families.” The statement said Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured Bryant that “all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests.”

In a Los Angeles Times report published last Thursday, a public safety source said first responders allegedly discussed how photos of the crash scene and the victims’ remains were being shared.

An insider also said he saw one of the photos on the phone of another official, in a setting not related to work.

That day, a law enforcement source told TMZ that a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department trainee allegedly took pictures at the site and “tried to impress a girl by showing her the photos” days later at a bar.

Reportedly, a bartender at the establishment overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff's Department.

TMZ also alleged that cell phone photos of the crash were being passed around at the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff's substation, where the first responders of the crash are located. Sources also say deputies from other substations around Los Angeles County allegedly took cell phone photos as well.

While requesting an internal investigation into the matter, Bryant’s statement continued, “First responders should be trustworthy… This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”

Bryant also commended the reported bartender who filed the complaint, praising the individual for “exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity.”

View this post on Instagram

CORRECTED: The department at issue is the Los Angeles County Fire Dept (LACoFD) NOT the LAFD KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(repost: BUSINESS WIRE)--Statement From Gary C. Robb, Legal Counsel on Behalf of His Client, Vanessa Bryant: Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site. Mrs. Bryant personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers. This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families. At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests. First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LACOFD would allegedly breach their duty. This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents. Mrs. Bryant is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity. We ask that anyone else who has information as to the facts underlying these alleged grievous and shameful incidents contact our office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

In response, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released a statement last Friday, saying they are “aware” of the photo-sharing reports.

“The facts surrounding these allegations are currently under investigation, as are the effectiveness of existing policies and procedures. The Sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act,” they said. “A thorough investigation will be conducted by the Department, with the number one priority of protecting the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families."

Comments