The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is looking into the unauthorized sharing of graphic photos from the scene of Kobe Bryant’s death last month.
According to the Los Angeles Times, deputies from said department took and shared photos from the crash site, something police procedures lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York Joseph Giacalone has described as a “cardinal sin in law enforcement.”
It’s not clear how the photos got out but one public safety source told the Times he saw a photo of the site on another official’s phone in a setting that did not concern the investigation. Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that “multiple L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the crash scene took photos that included remains.” The publication claims to have been told that one of the deputies is a trainee who tried to impress a woman at a bar by showing her the images, and a bartender made an online complaint to the Sheriff’s Dept. after overhearing the conversation.
“We’re also told the cell phone photos were passed around at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation – the first responders to the crash. Sources say deputies from other substations around L.A. County also took cell phone photos,” TMZ added.
The department told the Times the “matter is being looked into,” following several inquiries.
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, which represents rank-and-file deputies, did not specifically respond to requests for comment on the allegations.
“As with all investigations, we will aggressively represent our members and preserve their rights,” the union said in a statement.