At least eight Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies were involved in taking graphic photographs at Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash site in Calabasas last month and are currently under investigation.
Alex Villanueva, the sheriff, said five deputies were full-time employees and three were reservists, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported. He told the station that the deputies told Internal Affairs that the photos have been deleted, under his direction.
“I was horrified,” he told the station. “I just felt betrayed by my own deputies ’cause it’s such a hard thing to do as a first responder, go to a scene of such a horrific accident, talking to the families, three families that were there at the Lost Hills station, personally, and their concerns about privacy, and how we could make the day better for them if any way possible. And to have this happen, It was heartbreaking.”
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in the Jan. 26 crash. Vanessa Bryant, his wife, said she was “absolutely devastated” about the allegations. Her attorney called for the “harshest discipline” possible for those involved.
The Los Angeles Times first reported on the alleged actions by the deputies. The decision to delete the images was an attempt to keep the matter “under wraps,” the paper, citing public safety sources, reported. The photos showed the scene and victims’ remains, the report said.