Vanessa Bryant has hit out at allegations that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies shared photos of the helicopter crash site where her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died.
In a lengthy statement from her lawyers that she posted on Instagram , the 37-year-old took aim at deputies from Lost Hill for allegedly putting the pics into the public domain after the crash that killed nine people on January 26.
Through her lawyer, Gary C. Robb, Vanessa said in a statement: "Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site."
Vanessa's lawyer went on to claim that she had requested personally that the area was a no-fly zone.
The statement continued: "Mrs. Bryant personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers.
"This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families.
"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."
Her lawyer pointed out that the trust of those responding had been breached by these actions.
She added: "First responders should be trustworthy. 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.
"This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families.
"We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.
"We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents.”
The statement concluded: "Mrs. Bryant is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office responded in a statement: "The Sheriff’s Department is 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 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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