News & Opinion | September 29, 2020 9:59 am

Outrage Over Kobe Bryant Crash Photos Inspires New California Law

The law will prohibit first responders from taking unauthorized photos at accident scenes

Bryant’s Helicopter Flew in Conditions That Grounded Police Choppers
Emergency crews respond to a helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. (Photo by LASD via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

“Don’t take graphic photos of a person’s dead body moments after they have died in a horrific accident” is something that feels like it should go without saying, but apparently we need an actual law in place to prevent some people from taking creepshots of corpses. Now, as CBS reports, such a law exists in California thanks to the efforts of Vanessa Bryant, who spoke out about first responders taking unauthorized crash scene photos of her late husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna.

Eight deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department were accused of taking graphic photos of the scene after the helicopter carrying Bryant and his daughter crashed on Jan. 26, and now to ensure something similar doesn’t happen in the future, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved legislation to make it illegal for first responders to take pictures at the scene of an accident or crime for anything other than an official law enforcement purpose.

The new law, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, will make taking such photos a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000.

Last week, Vanessa Bryant sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over the crash scene photos. “No fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches,” the suit reads. “The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”

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