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Vanessa Bryant wants to make public the names of the deputies that took pictures of Kobe's dead body. Read on why Los Angeles County won't share the names.

Why is Vanessa Bryant fighting those who took photos of Kobe’s dead body?

The wife of the late Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, has spoken out about the scandal that followed after the tragic death of her husband, daughter, and seven others in a helicopter crash early in 2020. Eight sheriff’s deputies & firefighters that had arrived on the scene of the crash took personal photos of the bodies of the victims, especially that of Kobe Bryant. They then shared said photos.

Naturally, this led Vanessa Bryant to file a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, seeking damages for negligence & invasion of privacy. The suit focuses on four deputies on the scene who took and shared the photos. They, however, are currently nameless. Bryant, however, wants to change that and hold them publicly accountable for their actions in the court of public opinion.

Here’s what’s going on in the case.

Why Vanessa Bryant wants to reveal their names

Outside of the obvious, these sick individuals took photos of a gruesome helicopter crash with child victims involved because of the fame of Kobe Bryant. There’s a thriving gore market on the dark web that, of course, would pay top dollar for the photos along with an online community that likes seeing this sort of stuff. Vanessa Bryant wants them named so people will know what they did.

In an Instagram post on Sat. Feb 26, Vanessa Bryant wrote, “The Sheriff’s Department wants to redact the names of the deputies that took and/or shared photos of my husband, daughter, and other victims.” She, however, wants to make sure that they are held accountable. After all, if this didn’t involve law enforcement, we all would know the names of these people. 

The County, however, disagrees

Los Angeles County wants to keep the name of the deputies under wraps due to concerns about hackers. According to the County, “Not sealing the Deputy Defendants’ names increases the risk that hackers will seek out and try to gain access to the individual deputies’ devices to locate any photographs and publish them to the public. Plaintiff should want to [seal] for this same reason.”

Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva gathered the deputies with the photos and told them to destroy them or face disciplinary action. This, however, was after news had spread about the photos being shared around the department with several civilians seeing them. One of which included a bartender who announced this fact to a bar, which is what revealed the scandal in the first place.

Initially, Villanueva was a defendant in the case, but the case against him has been dismissed by the judge. According to Vanessa Bryant, he had assured her that the deputies on the scene were meant to protect such images getting out. And, well, then the photo scandal happened so clearly they weren’t. A new law was passed that makes it illegal for first responders to take unauthorized photos of dead bodies at crime scenes.

What’s next?

Vanessa Bryant’s lawyers are going to do their best to make the names public of those who took pictures of the dead bodies of Kobe, his daughter, and the seven other victims involved. Because they should be publicly held accountable for their actions. Remember when Logan Paul took a video of the suicide victim? It’s essentially the same thing, and the defendants need to be held accountable.

And, yes, they aren’t because they are cops. Vanessa Bryant summed it up best, “Not all law enforcement is bad. These specific deputies need to be held accountable for their actions just like everyone else.” They don’t deserve special protection just because of their jobs. Again, she’s right and she should 100% say it.

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