The Los Angeles County Sheriff has confirmed that they already identified the officials responsible for the capturing and sharing of graphic photos from the crash scene of the tragic incident involving NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.
According to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, they have identified at least eight deputies involved, who all confessed taking and disseminating the graphic photos taken at the helicopter scene where Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers died.
"We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them," Villanueva said in an interview with NBC News.
The Sheriff added that he immediately ordered the deletion of the said photos.
"That was my No. 1 priority, was to make sure those photos no longer exist," he added.
However, Villanueva explained that they do not tolerate such actions. The eight deputies are now under investigation and will face disciplinary action. However, Villanueva failed to detail the possible sanction they will get.
"We've communicated in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable. I mean, people are grieving for the loss of their loved ones. To have that on top of what they've already gone through is unconscionable," the Sheriff noted.
Villanueva also explained that while their department has an existing policy against taking and sharing photos using personal cellphones at a crime scene, it does not apply to an accident scene like the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
However, due to the incident involving the Los Angeles Lakers legend, the Sheriff is now planning to rectify the policy.
Villanueva said that he would urge the state to make a law making the unauthorized taking of photos in accident scenes illegal, especially if it depicts the victims' dead bodies.
Vanessa Bryant's Plea
Earlier this week, Kobe's widow, Vanessa Bryant, issued a statement through her lawyer saying she was absolutely devastated with the unauthorized sharing of the human remain photos from the crash scene.
"This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families," the statement, which Vanessa also shared on her Instagram account.
Atty. Gary Robb said that Vanessa personally went to the Sheriff's office on the day of the tragic accident on January 26, 2029 to request to secure the area by implementing a no-fly zone to prevent photographers from taking pictures of the accident scene.
"This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims and their families," the statement added.
Vanessa's camp is also demanding that the people responsible for the photo-sharing incident to face the "harshest" possible disciplinary action. They also insist that the identities of the people involved to be disclosed on the public "to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated."
This came after the Los Angeles Times reported that several deputies are showing the graphic photos stored on their smartphones to other people not involved in the case. An anonymous source confirmed that an official let him peek at one of the images, although he has nothing to do with the investigation.