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Vanessa Bryant 'devastated' over report that deputies shared graphic crash photos

Bryant's lawyer said she wants "the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light."
/ Source: TODAY

Vanessa Bryant is "devastated" over a report that first responders from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allegedly shared graphic photos from the crash scene where her husband, Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others were killed, her attorney said in a statement.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, two public safety sources (who spoke to the Times under the condition of anonymity) said that the sharing of photos, which included the crash scene and images of the victims' remains, was discussed among first responders in the days following the crash.

Bryant's lawyer, Gary Robb, claims that on the day of the crash, Bryant went to the sheriff's department and requested the crash site be designated a no-fly zone so photographers would be prohibited from entering the area.

"This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families," Robb said. "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."

Robb described the allegations as "an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families."

"First responders should be trustworthy," the statement read. "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."

On Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said they are "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 statement continued. "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."

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Bryant's lawyer said she wants "the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated."