A LOS ANGELES cop allegedly snapped up to 100 disturbing pics of Kobe and Gigi Bryant at the chopper crash site, a shocking lawsuit claims.
The basketball star's widow, Vanessa, 37, has alleged members of the LASD shared multiple gruesome and unauthorized images of the aftermath.
Vanessa Bryant has named the four Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who allegedly took and shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, daughter and seven others.
Their names were revealed as Kobe Bryant's grieving widow posted images of lawsuit documents she filed against Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department, the county fire department, and the deputies in question on Wednesday.
One deputy, it is alleged, took between 25 and 100 photos of the crash scene on his cell phone.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter and several others were traveling by helicopter in January last year to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California for a basketball game when it crashed.
His widow has posted a photo of the front page of the lawsuit that names Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the sheriff’s department and four deputies — Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell and Raul Versales — as plaintiffs in the case.
Bryant’s lawsuit alleged that within 48 hours of the crash, photos had spread to at least 10 members of the department.
There also some disturbing allegations about what those deputies did with the photos of Kobe, Gianna and the other passengers.
The second part of the lawsuit she shared included allegations that officer Joey Cruz, showed crash photographs to a bartender at the Baja California Bar and Grill in Norwalk, California.
One of the customers described his alleged actions as "very, very disturbing".
He filed an official complaint with the Sheriff’s department while sitting in his car after leaving the restaurant.
Cruz is also accused of showing the photos to his niece.
He also allegedly made "a crude remark about the state of the victims' remains".
Another officer, deputy Michael Russell, allegedly sent photos to a friend with whom he "plays video games nightly."
According to the lawsuit, Sheriff Alex Villanueva allegedly summoned those deputies who had taken the photos into his office.
Here is alleged to have said that if they deleted the photos they would not be disciplined.
Internal affairs were not allegedly told about the breach of privacy, and no probe was started until news of the photos was made public.
Attorneys for the four sheriff’s deputies had wanted to keep their names and ranks sealed over fears their computers would be compromised.
They claimed "hackers may attempt to seek out and gain access to the individual deputies' devices to locate any photographs and publish them," state court documents.
However, US District Judge John F. Walter ruled last week that argument is "totally inconsistent with their position that such photographs no longer exist".
The ruling means Vanessa’s lawyers can add their names from an internal affairs probe into their conduct to an amended complaint in her civil rights lawsuit against LA county and the Sheriff’s Department.
In his ruling, Judge Walter found that allegations of police officer misconduct should not be hidden from public scrutiny, reported the LA Times.
“Indeed where the case involves allegations of police misconduct, the public has a vested interest in assessing the truthfulness of the allegations of official misconduct, and whether agencies that are responsible for investigating and adjudicating complaints of misconduct have acted properly and wisely,” he wrote.
Source: Read Full Article