New CA law spurred by alleged photos of Kobe Bryant crash site signed into effect

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new law into effect, spurred by photos allegedly taken of Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash.

Newsom signed AB 2655, set to prohibit first responders from taking photographs of deceased individuals “outside of job duties” — according to Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, who called the bill “The Kobe Bryant Act of 2020” on Twitter — on Monday. Violations will be a misdemeanor-level offense, per KCBS.

Bryant was killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. The Los Angeles Times reported that LA County sheriff’s deputies circulated photos of the accident site and the victims in the aftermath of the incident.

Bryant’s widow Vanessa made a personal plea to Sheriff Alex Villanueva on the morning of the crash to have the site sealed, according to a legal filing made against the department, according to People, who obtained copies of the document.

Despite that, “no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” the document charged. “As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”

Two LA firefighters were also alleged to have snapped — and subsequently ordered to delete — photos.

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