By Sarah Moon | NCS
In a collection of Instagram posts on Wednesday, Vanessa Bryant revealed the names of the 4 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies who allegedly took or shared grisly photos of the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna, and 7 others.
The posts have been of an amended grievance — filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and obtained by NCS — that named deputies Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell, and Raul Versales because the defendants, along with Los Angeles County, its sheriff and hearth departments. The lawsuit seeks damages, claiming negligence and invasion of privateness.
The grievance alleges Cruz “boasted that he had worked at the scene of the accident where Kobe Bryant had died” and confirmed photos of the crash site to a bartender and a bar patron on January 28, 2020, two days after the crash.
On the identical day, Cruz additionally confirmed the photos of the Bryants’ stays to his niece, based on the grievance.
The bartender who noticed the photos then shared with different prospects that he had seen the photos and “described specific characteristics of Mr. Bryant’s remains,” the grievance states.
One of the purchasers discovered this case “very, very disturbing” and emailed a grievance to the sheriff’s division, describing the deputy.
Another deputy, Russell, allegedly shared photos with a buddy with whom he “plays video games nightly,” the grievance mentioned.
Vanessa Bryant won her case earlier this month to reveal the names of the deputies allegedly concerned. Attorneys for the LASD and Los Angeles County needed to maintain the deputies’ names and ranks sealed, arguing that “hackers may attempt to seek out and gain access to the individual deputies’ devices to locate any photographs and publish them,” based on court docket paperwork.
In February, she had called for the sheriff’s department to launch the names of the deputies, saying they have to be held accountable.
“Mrs. Bryant looks forward to presenting her case in open court,” Vanessa Bryant’s legal professional Luis Li mentioned in a press release to NCS.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
“We respect the judge’s decision,” the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs President Ron Hernandez mentioned in a press release. “Our main concern is for the privacy of all parties involved.”
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