After Kobe Bryant’s Death, Proposed Bill Makes It Illegal to Share Crime Scene Images
Kobe Bryant – Bill Would Outlaw Sharing Crime Scene Images After His Death
Three months after the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, a California lawmaker wants to make it a crime for law enforcement officers to take unauthorized photographs of those killed in accidents and crimes. California Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) has introduced legislation that would make it a misdemeanor with punishment of up to a year in jail and as much as $5,000 in fines for a first responder to use a smartphone or other device to photograph a deceased person for any purpose other than official law enforcement business.
When asked about why he proposed the bill, on Tuesday (May 5) Mike Gipson said,
“Our first responders, when responding to an emergency, should not be taking very sensitive photographs … for their own gain, for their own pleasure, It was unconscionable. It’s not right.”
Assembly Bill 2655, which was introduced this week, would outlaw acts that violate the privacy of deceased victims and apply to all first responders acting under color of authority, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters and medical examiners.
Back in March, we reported that 8 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies reportedly shared some graphic photos from the site where the helicopter crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi Bryant, and 7 others.
According to reports from CBS News in February, the suspects of the unauthorized photo-sharing had been identified: eight sheriff deputies on duty. Sheriff Alex Villanueva gave this update:
“When I first got word of this information, I just felt devastated. These families of the victims have suffered enough already.”
“To have any action of our deputies compile their suffering, that breaks my heart. It’s a sense of betrayal because these are my own employees.”
As a result of the investigation, the sheriff’s department reportedly planned to extend its policy on taking and sharing photos from accident sites.
“[The alleged behavior is] completely unprofessional [and] very regrettable…Hopefully we’ll hear more, what was going on and how they found out. At this point, we have to trust that the sheriff is going to get to the bottom of it.”
Since then Vanessa Bryant, the Altobelli and Mauser families have filed wrongful death suits against the helicopter company Island Express.
What are your thoughts about the law that Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) has introduced? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.