The Los Angeles County Fire Department will fire two firefighters and suspend a third employee for allegedly taking photos of the site where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several others crashed last year and sharing them with girlfriends and wives, according to court documents.
The documents were filed in a privacy breach lawsuit filed by Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant against Los Angeles County over the footage, KNBC-TV reported. The lawsuit accuses several Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies of taking and sharing photos – in one case with a bar patron – of the site showing corpses and other grizzly details.
In the boss’s case, a bartender then filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office about the photos. Vanessa Bryant revealed the names of MPs who allegedly shared the photos in March.
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In the case of the firefighters – none of whom were named in court documents – two received letters of “intent to discharge” last December. They reportedly sent photos to a third firefighter who works as a media relations officer and who was at the scene. The employee then reportedly shared the footage with firefighters on leave at an awards ceremony shortly after.
The third fire department employee received a letter of “intent to suspend”. The employment status of the three was not immediately known. The county fire department did not respond to a request from Fox News.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in January 2020 when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Federal investigators determined the crash was caused by pilot error.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva condemned the behavior of MPs and, in a move that has since come under heavy criticism, ordered them to remove the photos. The captain of the Malibu-Lost Hills sheriff’s post, who oversees the area where the crash occurred, pushed back the decision but was overturned.
“It was my number one priority to make sure these photos no longer existed,” Villanueva told the news channel in an interview in March 2020. “If we had done the original and usual routine, which was to relieve everybody of their homework and everybody of lawyers and all that, that would tenfold the chances of those photos somehow ending up in the public domain. we do not want. “
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In response to the scandal, Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed a law last year that criminalizes the taking of unauthorized photos of people who have died at the scene of an accident or crime.
Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday. He will be presented by his wife and Michael Jordan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.