Vanessa Bryant Speaks Out on Allegations That Sheriff's Deputies Shared Photos of Crash Site

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Vanessa Bryant is "devastated" by allegations that first responders took and shared photos of the crash site where her husband, Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died.

A statement from Vanessa's attorney was posted on her Instagram on Sunday morning, condemning the alleged behavior and calling for those responsible to "face the harshest possible discipline." ET has reached out to the Los Angeles County Fire Department for comment. 

A representative for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department tells ET, "The Sheriff’s Department is aware of recent media reports alleging deputies shared images from the January 26th, 2020 helicopter crash, which tragically claimed the lives of nine people. 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. 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."

"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," the statement on Vanessa's Instagram began. 

According to the statement, Vanessa visited the Sheriff's office on Jan. 26, the day of the helicopter crash, and requested that the site be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers, "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," the statement said. 

"First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LAFD 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," the statement continued. "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."

The statement concluded by noting that Vanessa is grateful to the person who filed a complaint about the alleged behavior. It also asked that anyone else who has information about the allegations to contact Vanessa's attorney's office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com.

 

The news comes soon after Kobe and Gigi were honored with a memorial at the Staples Center on Monday, Feb. 24. A source close to the family told ET that Vanessa found the memorial to be healing. 

"Vanessa is overwhelmed with the outpouring of love her and her family received," the source said. "It was the perfect tribute to Kobe and Gigi. Vanessa knows the grieving process will be long and hard but Monday’s tribute helped her and her family during a rough time."

See more in the video below. 

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