A new law has been signed to respect victims of crime scenes and other tragic accidents after photos of the helicopter crash which killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others leaked online.
On Tuesday (Sept. 29), California governor Gavin Newsome signed AB 2655, a bill which makes it illegal for first responders to take photos at scenes of crimes or accidents “for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose,” according to CNN.
It will be called the “Kobe Bryant Act” and starts in 2021. If a first responder is found guilty of the misdemeanor crime they could be fined up to $1,000 per violation.
Back in March, The Los Angeles Times reported that deputies were asked to delete any photos of the crash after the Department received a complaint that an official with the Sheriff’s Department was showing photos at a bar. Unfortunately, this Sheriff’s Department has a long history of sharing photos from investigations involving celebrities, including the 2009 attack on singer Rihanna by her then-boyfriend, performer Chris Brown.
Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff this month.
According to Los Angeles-based KTTV says the lawsuit read, “no fewer than 8 sheriff’s deputies at the crash site pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches. The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”
The suit also read, “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”
The sheriff’s department declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Kobe and Gianna, along with seven other people, were killed on January 26 while taking a helicopter to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in nearby Thousand Oaks.