Kobe’s wife’s fury over ‘inexcusable’ act
Kobe Bryant's widow is "absolutely devastated" that police officers allegedly shared graphic photos of the chopper crash that killed her husband and daughter, her lawyer said Sunday - demanding the "harshest possible discipline" for the "unspeakable violation of human decency".
In a post to 37-year-old Vanessa Bryant's social media on Sunday, her lawyer, Gary Robb, stressed that Bryant pleaded in person with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to make the January 26 crash scene a no-fly zone to keep away prying snappers.
"This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families," the statement said, adding that the sheriff "assured us all measures would be put in place".
Robb called it "inexcusable and deplorable" that first responders were reportedly instead sharing graphic images of the scene where nine died, including her hoops legend husband and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
"First responders should be trustworthy," the statement noted - calling for those responsible to not just be punished but also named-and-shamed, with a full investigation by Internal Affairs.
"This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families," the statement insisted.
"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 is "grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity," the statement adds of the whistleblower.
The Sheriff's Department last week told the Los Angeles Times, which first broke the story, that the "matter is being looked into."
The NBA legend, 41, Gianna and seven others - Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan - died when Bryant's helicopter collided with a Calabasas hillside amid dense fog.
The group had been on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks.
Vanessa Bryant has also filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the company that operated the chopper.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(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
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission